Last month, the Taber Food Bank learned they would be receiving $5,500 from the Community Foundation of Lethbridge & Southwestern Alberta through their Community Priorities Grant. 

Naomi Wiebe, manager of the Taber Food Bank Society, said that the Taber Food Bank applied for the grant in March and received it via a formal presentation on May 17. 

“As a food bank, we do not receive any ongoing funding from any level of government,” Wiebe said. “Our organization is grateful for the generous support of our community through donations and fundraisers. We also rely on grant applications such as this one to help our programs operate to the best of our ability.” 

“The funding will be used towards expanding our technology equipment,” Wiebe said. “Currently we have four part time personnel sharing two computers. During the summer, we will also have two summer students who will need computer access. Obtaining additional equipment will help reduce wait times for our clientele and increase efficiency amongst our staff members.” 

The Food Bank, Wiebe says, has two programs that are designed to help clientele. One, Wiebe says, is a food rescue program, where community members who are experiencing food insecurity may come in once a day to choose some items from the facility’s store front area. Wiebe says that the other program is the Taber Food Bank’s hamper program, which provides eligible households with 5-7 days worth of food. Registered clients take home two boxes of food, depending on the size of their family with one box containing a variety of non-perishable items, and the second box including fridge and freezer items. 

The Taber Food Bank, Wiebe says, works with multiple organizations in the community to share food and help each household experiencing food insecurity. Wiebe says that the Food Bank also provides referrals to other agencies for those who could use assistance besides food, and they even work to bring awareness to what resources they themselves have through events they hold. 

Wiebe says that some of Taber Food Bank’s upcoming events includes Stuff-A-Bus at Taber IGA and Taber Co-Op on June 6; Cornstock 50/50 at the Legion Youth Center on July 28 – 29; Cornfest 50/50 at Confederation Park on August 26; and the door-to-door food drive that is set to take place in Fall 2023. 

“We gratefully accept the help of volunteers for all our fundraising events,” Wiebe said. “Sign up details can usually be found on our social media.” 

The Taber Food Bank’s current volunteer needs, Wiebe says, include needing help at the vegetable garden over the next few months, and volunteers who work there meet once a week, sometimes more frequently during harvest season, to work in the garden. 

“Those interested can contact Andy Puskas at 403- 915-8408 to get more details,” Wiebe said. “Produce that is gained from this project is used locally by multiple organizations, and shared across the province with other food banks and partner agencies.”

By Heather Cameron, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 31, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   The Taber Times   Taber, Alberta

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