Tracy Lynn Singer
Leduc & District Food Bank
I recently had the opportunity to visit our local food bank. I was surprised having never been at this location before just how well organized and well run our food bank is. Run with staff and volunteers the food bank provides a plethora of services many in our community utilize on a regular basis.
I used to think the food bank was just as the name implies, a place we as a community can go when we are having a hard time making ends meet to get baskets of food to help us through a rough time.
I was impressed with the scope of items the food bank offers, with the addition of a large walk in cooler as well as a freezer they can now more easily store and supply fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables as well as meats to our community members in need.
The food bank is so much more than what I expected. The new location has room for other non-profit organizations to host meetings as well as a central location to help point people in the right direction for many of the other services offered in our area.
The food bank also has a large storage room dedicated to school supplies for children in our areas so they can walk in to a classroom knowing they have what they need to learn and grow.
With donations of confiscated items arriving regularly from the airport the volunteers build gift baskets for fundraising events as well as add sorely needed items such as lotions and personal toiletries to the hampers going out to our community.
The food bank has a Kitchen Learning Center where staff work with agency clients and where volunteers help utilize donations that arrive in ways that many of us would not have thought of. When donations of. When donations of fruit or vegetables that need to be used quickly come in you can count on the clients, staff and volunteers to be putting in many hours chopping and freezing items to be used in healthy smoothies and homemade soups and stews as well as building packages of frozen vegetables to complement a healthy lifestyle for everyone in need in our area.
The food bank has also recently added in a grow tower to grow herbs and salad greens right on site at the Kitchen, I really can’t imagine a better use of a small corner of the room.
The food bank is so much more than food. Having the kitchen makes it possible to run sessions and workshops, teaching children and adults alike, the skills needed to work not only safely in a kitchen environment but also how to create healthy meals with ingredients on hand from the baskets put together by the volunteers at the warehouse location along with the staples we tend to have on hand.
The kitchen location also has a meeting room where clients can go to receive help with resume prep as well as mock interviews making our chances of building ourselves up and breaking through our struggles that much more likely.
I have been a resident of Leduc for over 15 years and never imagined just how integral a part of our community the food bank is. I am in awe of how much work goes into making sure everyone in our community has access to the services and tools they need to build a strong healthy happy lifestyle for themselves and their families. The staff and volunteers as well as all the businesses and people in our community who take the time to donate in any way they can should be proud.
The food bank is something none of us should take for granted it takes a village to build something this strong that makes sure no one gets left behind and I for one will never forget my experience visiting and learning about all the food bank has to offer and hope in some small way I can help support our local food bank for many years to come.