Morinville Food Bank asks for more help

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Lately when Isabelle Skjersven talks about what it’s like to work at the Morinville Food Bank, she may put an extra emphasis on the first syllable.

“More” is what the food bank has been coping with in terms of demand. It’s also the answer to how much more help is still needed to fill the shelves.

She explained that the small town operation currently has 54 families on its assistance roster, an increase over last year. She wasn’t surprised about the growth considering the state of the economy. When asked how that compares with the client list in 2008, she had the same answer: “It’s more.”

“There is a struggle,” she said, talking about how tough it is to keep enough food stocked to use for hampers. Sometimes help comes from unexpected places — some farmers donate extra potatoes and beets from their fall crops if they can, a surprise that she said is always greatly appreciated.

Suzan Krecsy of the St. Albert Food Bank occasionally has surplus stocks of specific items that she sends over and Skjersven really appreciates the assistance. “If she wasn’t helping us out we probably would be in bad shape. We’re all trying to work together, us food banks. If we have something, we don’t want it to get outdated so we pass it on.”

In November Pleasant Homes held its third annual garage sale and made over $2,000. The business then matched that amount before handing over the donation cheque. “This money is about helping people,” Gary Hauk stated, giving his reason for the substantial gift.

Skjersven said that sugar, coffee, Cheez Whiz and jam are currently the most needed items. She asked that people make donations if they can.

To set up an intake appointment, call Melonie Dziwenka, the town’s intake co-ordinator, at 780-939-4361. The Morinville Food Bank is located at 9922 — 101 St. Call 780-939-2636 for more information.

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Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.