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Food bank ready for fundraising event

By: Susan Jones

  |  Posted: Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 06:00 am

FOOD PREP – Food bank volunteer Sharon Tansey takes some time Thursday to load a shopping cart with items to be provided to a family in the community.
FOOD PREP – Food bank volunteer Sharon Tansey takes some time Thursday to load a shopping cart with items to be provided to a family in the community.
APRIL BARTLETT/St. Albert Gazette

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The May 10 St. Albert Food Bank/Community Village Action takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. at the community hall on Perron Street. Tickets may be purchased online at www.stalbertcv.com or www.stalbertfb.com.

St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village staff and volunteers want to give back to the community at the same time as they raise much-needed funds to help the poor in this city.

As always, it’s all about the food and when the agency hosts its silent auction May 10, there will be mouth-watering tidbits for everyone.

“Join us for a culinary experience,” said volunteer Sam Boucher.

This year the event will feature the Cactus Club’s chef Alex Johnson, who will volunteer his time, energy and creativity.

“He will overload your taste buds with his canapés and dessert creations,” Boucher said.

Admission to the event is $50, with a portion of those funds tax deductable, because entertaining though the event promises to be, this is a much-needed fundraiser.

“Our goal is to raise $30,000 for the evening, in honour of the fact that the St. Albert Food Bank will be 30 years old in November,” said executive director Suzan Krecsy.

Krecsy acknowledged the sadness of commemorating 30 years of need within the community of St. Albert, but she also explained that the food bank is now better positioned than ever to help people, because of the community village and a new philosophy of giving people a hand up, instead of simply giving them a handout.

“Our hope is to improve the quality of life and increase our clients’ level of independence. We are giving out fewer hampers because people are able to get help at the community village and are needing less assistance,” Krecsy said.

Last year the food bank gave out 1,576 hampers, down 1.7 per cent from the 1,603 hampers given out in 2012. The food bank has between 600 and 700 families on file, while the community village has 200 to 300 families on file.

“Some of the clients, but not all, are shared by both the food bank and the community village. We also help at two St. Albert schools, but providing breakfast food,” Krecsy said.

The community village concept allows those in need to get help in other ways than through a donation of food.

“We have a social worker who finds out why people need assistance. It may be they cannot hold a job and may need counselling because of sexual abuse as a child or maybe the client needs rental assistance,” Krescy said.

She added that the community village has brought about better liaison within the helping agencies in the community.

“We network and have partnerships and collaboration with all the social services agencies. We can advocate for our clients. We now offer some 14 programs including health and wellness programs, rental assistance, the Brian Layton Infant Formula assistance program and so on to help our clients get on their feet,” she said.

Funds raised at the May 10 auction and soiree go directly towards supporting programs and services offered by the St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village.

St. Albert businesses have already lent their support with more than 100 auction items, and the gifts are still coming in for the event. The big-ticket item will be an evening catered by Alex Johnson but there will also be golf packages, sports memorabilia, gourmet delights, art and trips, Boucher said.

“Our auctioneer will be Mayor Nolan Crouse and the entertainment will be provided by singer/songwriter Martin Kerr,” he said.


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