With Christmas just around the corner, the staff and volunteers of the St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village want to extend our most sincere thanks and gratitude to the residents of St. Albert and area for the outpouring of support you have given to the families we have assisted in 2022. The past couple of years have been challenging for everyone but these past few months have even more so. The numbers of families needing assistance has been steadily climbing without any indication of slowing down.
The Christmas season can be a particularly hard time of year for folks who are struggling financially. Our clients are feeling the intense pinch of inflation which has reduced their ability to purchase the things they need for their families. Every day we see how hard they are trying to plan an enjoyable holiday for their children AND purchase groceries AND pay for the bills.
In late October, Food Banks Canada released their “Hunger Count” report. It outlined the fact that Alberta is the number one province in the country for food bank use but also has the highest number of employed people. There are St. Albert Food Bank clients working as many as three jobs and who still are not able to fully meet their financial obligations.
Our community’s response to this increased need has been simply amazing! The residents of St. Albert are exceedingly thoughtful and generous, and extremely responsive to the identified issue of the lack of the most basic of needs which is food. This is not a new “thing” for the residents of this city — when a need is identified you respond and not every community can say that. The feeling of security is something that our families need, and you provide!
I often talk about one client that was taking a photography class and needed some practice so they joined us during the annual food drive. They had to stop taking pictures because they were so overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who responded to the drive — they said “I had no idea this many people cared and were taking care of us”. This is the fabric of this city.
The St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village has an extraordinary team of staff and volunteers who all work together to make the lives of our clients a little easier. We are also blessed to work with exceptional social serving agencies in St. Albert whose focus, like ours, is to work together as a group to assist the families who need a little help.
Sometimes just saying “thank you” does not feel like it is enough, but we will keep saying it because we are so very grateful and want everyone to know that.
So, St. Albert, I hope you all realize what incredible people live here and from all of us here we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, healthy New Year!