by Morinville News Staff

With food bank use increasing in Canadian communities, and no more so than in Alberta, they can use all the help they can get in feeding the hungry. Morinville Food Bank Society member Ken Skjersven said they were seeing five new families a week since the job market started to drop.

But two days of collecting food in the community bus has resulted in 4378 pounds of food, 4800 pounds of bottled water, 1200 pounds of pet food, and 4207.80 in cash collected from local businesses and members of the community. Scotia Bank Morinville will match those dollars. It’s a tally that will go a long way towards helping families in need this Christmas season.

Last year’s event was affected by cold weather and an untimely dump of snow, a combination organizer Melodie Steele referred to as Snowmageddon. That downturn in donations resulted in 3,546 pounds collected over two days, less than half of 2013’s total of 7,255 pounds of food and household items.

On Thursday, Nov. 26 the bus travelled around the community gathering donations from area businesses. That day one haul weighed in at 1166 pounds and roughly $1200 in cash.

Friday saw the bus spending the morning at No Frills and the afternoon at Morinville Sobeys. The two stop total was 3212 pounds and more than $3,000 in cash and cheque contributions. Champion Petfoods donated a pallet of pet food, and No Frills wheeled out two pallets of bottled water for the cause.

Ken Skjersven of the Morinville Food Bank Society said Thursday and Friday’s totals were appreciated. “It’s a big help,” he said. “We’re way up from last year in terms of need. We get four or five new families coming in here every week. It adds up pretty fast.”

Organizer Melodie Steele said she was not surprised the community pulled through once again. “Fill-a-Bus 2015 was a far larger success than 2014,” she said. “We had pleasant weather and the incredible generosity of all the residents and surrounding area, and the business community, who stepped up and helped fill the bus on the first day.”

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Drayden Insurance with their donation.

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No Frills donated 4800 pounds of water.

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Firefighters load the water for delivery to the food bank.

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ATB / H&R Block make their presentation.

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Champion Petfoods employees deliver a pallet of product.

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Monty Johnson presents $1000 to the Knights of Columbus on behalf of the Rotary Club of Morinville.

Other participating businesses included RV City, Putnam & LAwson, Servus Credit Union, Morinville Physical Therapy, the Morinville Library, Town of Morinville, and CUPE Local 2426.

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