by Stephen Dafoe
There is a large swath of empty metal shelving where canned tomatoes and pasta sauce usually sit. The box of instant noodles, typically overflowing sits half empty.
It’s been a rough summer for the Morinville Food Bank Society. Volunteer operator Isabelle Skjersven says donations are half of what they normally are in the summer, and summers are never overly abundant. But while the supplies to assist those in need are drastically down, the need is not. In fact, Isabelle and her husband Ken are seeing double the number of people coming through the door.
“It’s more and more,” Isabelle Skjersven said. “We’re still getting people from the Fort McMurray fire. There’re layoffs. ‘I lost my job.’ That’s what people are saying. And we’re just not getting the donations.”
With donations at half normal intake and output at double summer norms, the Skjersvens have not turned anyone away.
“We just have to cut back on the orders a little bit,” she said. “Like they say in all of the papers and all of the food banks, ‘Hunger still goes on in the summer.”
The Morinville Food Bank was a recent recipient of a donation of eggs through the Alberta Food Banks, something Skjersven said she was truly grateful to receive.
More is still needed to help those in the community who are struggling in the present economy.
The Food Bank is appealing to Morinville and Sturgeon County residents and businesses to help them help others. Though the Food Bank is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, Skjersven said people can phone 780-939-2636 and leave a message 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make pickup or drop off arrangements.
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Isabelle Skjersven shows the empty space on the shelf where canned tomatoes and pasta sauce usually sit.