The increase in the cost of groceries, rent and gas has significantly impacted many in St. Albert this year. Families we work with at the St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village often describe the constant battle of trying to spread limited funds to sustain their households. While some one-time government payments offer temporary relief, the foreseeable future appears quite grim for many.
Financial distress increases the level of anxiety exponentially. Families struggle to take care of the basics without that light at the end of the tunnel. We see this almost every day; folks feeling the pressure and not knowing how to relieve it.
We are fortunate to provide food to families through the St. Albert Food Bank. This would not be possible without the continuous and substantial support from our community through donations/food drives etc.
The services offered in the Community Village range from referrals to assistance in accessing supports and services. We work with many partners in St. Albert and Sturgeon County who are always at the ready to help reduce the levels of stress for those who are experiencing these daily challenges.
A new partnership with Homeland Housing might see us offering wrap-around services to support the new government funded rental assistance program. One of these supports might be our Financial Literacy program. Here, we offer workshops to give participants an understanding of budgeting and their relationship with money.
We plan on expanding opportunities for families we serve to be able to access this valuable skill building tool. The newly-developed classes have already allowed for excellent conversations among participants, and we thank the volunteers who developed this new curriculum.
We are motivated to move forward with a Community Kitchen program and have a volunteer who is able to help folks learn how to stretch the grocery dollar while providing their families with easy-to-prepare, healthy, delicious meals on a budget.
You can help too. Some of our best teachers are those who have experienced financial challenges and have come up with strategies to help themselves. We want to hear from folks so we can share ideas.
We would also love to hear from people who have recipes that have helped them through some challenging times, and that they would like to share – perhaps a cookbook may result! We can be reached at [email protected].
Suzan Krecsy is Executive Director at St. Albert Community Village and Food Bank