Smoky River Regional Food Bank (SRRFB) has officially severed ties with the High Prairie and District Food Bank Society to become its own separate entity.

On Nov. 8 the two parties parted ways to be able to provide more thorough service to each area.

SRRFB secretary- treasurer Crystal Tremblay explains the new arrangement was one that was initiated after many residents voiced their concerns about knowing donations were going to people in their own community.

“A group of people interested in creating a local food bank and society was formed during the summer,” says Tremblay.

“A lot of research and reading allowed us to develop policies, procedures, and bylaws to establish a robust foundation to ensure our food bank could operate successfully. This process takes time, consultation, coordination, and communication which does not make it an overnight project,” she adds.

Tremblay says the SRRFB will be run by people right in the region, and they will be accountable to the residents in the area.

“The close collaboration of services in our area; FCSS, library, Adult Learning, schools, church groups, and others, allows for good coordination within our communities and their residents,” says Tremblay.

“This collaboration provides opportunities to access grants and funding that directly support the program in this region. Also, any grant applied for by the food bank board will come here to our region, assisting us with the upkeep of the program and food security for the people in our region.”

The new food bank will accept applications through the Smoky River Family and Community Support Services offices in both Falher and McLennan, with applications being screened every Wednesday.

“The Smoky River Regional Food Bank board oversees the policies and management of the food bank, supported by volunteers and the Smoky River FCSS program,” explains Tremblay of how the program will be run.

“We will look to having a coordinator for the program in the future when there are the funds available to do so.”

Food donations are currently being accepted at the Smoky River FCSS office.

Tremblay says many Smoky River area businesses are running food drives to help collect including UFA, Gracie’s Pantry, ATB, BrokerLink, Red Apple, Falher Foods, Co-op Grocery, and Falher IDA. Cash donations are also being accepted at the FCSS offices.

“This food bank will be run from local community members, for local community members,” she says.

“We are committed to providing caring, compassionate service to those who apply.”

Tremblay says volunteers are always welcome to help facilitate the local food bank. If you are interested in helping or would like to provide a donation, please call the FCSS office at (780) 837-2220.

“People can help by providing donations, volunteering, or supporting any fundraising activities and making the community aware that the food bank is a living responsive helping agency within our region,” says Tremblay.

“We wish to thank the High Prairie and District Food Bank for its past support of the Smoky River Regional Food Bank,” she concludes.

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter – South Peace News – southpeacenews.com

Original Published on Nov 29, 2023 at 13:15

This item reprinted with permission from   South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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