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COLUMN: Food Bank, Community Village brimming with anticipation

Both are excited to begin offering programs again.
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Suzan Krecsy is the director of the St. Albert Food Bank.

The St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village is cautiously optimistic that we will be offering programming again in September.

Our energy has been focused on getting food out to families in need these past 15 months. Many thanks to our warehouse staff and social workers along with our volunteers who, without hesitation, were able to pivot and direct their energies to wherever it was needed most during this time.

We are excited to begin offering our Community Village programs that had to be temporarily closed or adapted during the pandemic.

Top of our list is re-starting our Cultural Kitchen program. We have missed everyone who took part prior to COVID. For seven years we were treated to an incredible dish from a different country every other Tuesday evening. Not only did we learn about that evening’s facilitator’s country, we also learned about everyone else who joined us – good food and laughter – who could ask for more? We are so fortunate to be able to celebrate the incredible diversity of our community.

We already have folks who are eager to showcase their food as soon as they can and who have already signed up to facilitate an evening. One of the countries that will be showcased soon is Morocco. The facilitator has told us about some of the food he will be making and sharing – it sounds fantastic. We are also fortunate to have a delightful facilitator who has been with us from our first kitchen seven years ago and she has agreed to host our first evening with a meal from Sri Lanka – the Cultural Kitchen just would not be the same without her to start us off each year.

Our annual Tools for School event is scheduled for Aug. 21. Last year we had a “drive-thru” event, but this year are hopeful we can expand the program to include some of our community partners who our families can meet face-to-face, like we did in the past. It has been such a long time since we were able to be in the same place together.

We have completed some renovations at the Food Bank and Community Village, including a new shower facility, which should be opening in the next few weeks, so folks who are experiencing homelessness can drop in to shower, do their laundry, and have a meal in addition to meeting with one of our social workers to discuss housing and other supports.

While we have continued to see clients on a regular basis during the pandemic, it was so different than before – no handshakes, no hugs. It will be amazing to gradually move back to the comfort level of being able to do that. Many of our folks here are hesitant to totally give up the restrictions, so we will respect that and move at a pace that is comfortable for everyone.

We thank each and every one of you who have been so supportive to our families – we couldn’t do this without you.

Suzan Krecsy is the director of the St. Albert Food Bank.


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