The Grande Prairie branch of the Salvation Army is hoping the community can help them restock the shelves, as the recent heat wave and other factors have seen demand skyrocket.
Executive Director Captain Peter Kim says, in addition to the hotter-than-expected forecast taking its toll on the bottled water supply, the continued fallout from the pandemic has seen overall usage hit record levels.
“We are finding that we are seeing the increase in need as we’ve gone through two years of a pandemic, and coming out of that, in 2020 we gave out 4,010 hampers, and last year, we gave our 7,300 hampers and we are on track this year to give out more than ever before,” he says.
“Even in our community kitchen, in 2020 we gave out about 33,000 meals, and in 2021 43,000 meals, so we are seeing so many people who are needing food, hydration and the things we provide.”
Kim says he understands that the pandemic and lingering effects of that create challenges for everyone, but he hopes residents across the region can help tighten the gap so they can continue to provide the necessities to everyone they can.
“We’ve seen 1,383 new households come to use the foodbank for the very first time, and that’s a big number it’s more than we’ve anticipated or expected,” he says.
“We thank the community for stepping up and providing donations to meet those needs, but the need keeps growing, so we are asking for more help.”