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Fundraisers take aim at food insecurity

T8N100Men will match St. Albertan's food bank contributions to $34,000, a number that could grow

The T8N100Men are at it again with another food bank fundraiser.

The charitable social club is asking St. Albertans to donate to the St. Albert Food Bank and committing to match contributions up to $31,400 — a number that could potentially bloom.

“The food bank is in a real tough spot right now,” said John Farlinger, a founding member of T8N100Men. “We're asking the citizens of St. Albert to — we will match up to $31,400 of their donations — to donate and we will match up to that amount.”

 Farlinger said that number could go up, depending on how much money is collected from the club.

“Within a few days or a week or whatever, that may get to $35,000. Or maybe it's $40,000; we will match up to whatever amount that we have.

 “We're really relying heavily on the citizens of St. Albert to see this as a good cause and to support it. And it's kind of nice as a citizen when you put in $100, this group will make it $200,” he said.

The men started the campaign in October and will continue to raise funds for the food bank — with the public’s help — until Dec. 5.

For donations to be matched with T8N100Men contributions, a note of "T8N100Men" must be included on the cheque or in the notes section of the St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village website.

Farlinger said the group was inspired to raise money for the food bank because of the harsh economic and social environment.

“There's a lot of people are struggling to make ends meet and one of the most basic requirements is food. And there are people that are struggling to make ends meet in order to get enough food on the table, and pay their mortgages, and pay their utility bills, and pay some other expenses. It's not what kind of society and the kind of town you elect to live in,” he said.

As reported by the Gazette, the St. Albert Food Bank saw a 43 per cent increase in food requests in September compared to the same time last year.

At the end of October, Food Banks Canada released a report stating one in five Albertans face food insecurity, the highest rate in Canada.

In April 2020 T8N100Men were able to raise $140,000 for the St. Albert Food Bank. Farlinger acknowledges that numbers might not be so high this year.

“We'd love to hit that. But we think it's a tougher economy out there. It's tough at times. We are very cautious about saying that we're going to meet that number again. It's a very it's a very tough environment out there for a lot of people financially right now,” he said.

Shandrie Lewis, a broker and owner of RE/MAX in St. Albert, said her office on Herbert Road is also collecting food for the St. Albert Food Bank.

Lewis said supporting local is important to the company, and around the holidays they like to support the food bank and the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign.

Lewis said they have been collecting food for about a month and will continue through November.

“It's really another pressing issue. And I think a lot of people forget that just because we're in St. Albert doesn't mean that everybody has food at every meal. And I think it's often overlooked. With the cost of food right now it's getting to be unaffordable for many families,” she said.