The Moose Jaw and District Food Bank posted statistics to show what 2023 looked like in terms of clients served, hours volunteered, and food collect and distributed.
The organization experienced a 58 per cent increase in the number of households helped, with a total of 7916 in 2023.
“People in our community in general are definitely struggling – continuing to struggle with the way the economy is and different various reasons,” said Deann Little, operations manager with the Moose Jaw and District Food Bank.
Clients can visit twice every month, and while in the past visits could only be made every 30 days, those two visits can happen any time during the month that suits local families.
2023 saw 13,317 adults, and 7523 children accessing the food bank.
Food donations from the community amount to 312,017 lbs. The Better Together Food Drive was one of the biggest contributors at 44,216 lbs, but Little says that all donations help.
“I know a lot of times people feel like ‘oh, I’m sorry I can only give one or two cans of soup’ - we never ever want somebody to feel like their donation isn’t any more important or less important than somebody else.”
They diverted 8,753 lbs of food from the landfill, with a local farmer picking up buckets every Friday with food that cannot be handed out to local families.
Volunteer hours were recorded at 4,841 hours in 2023, but Deann said that number is likely much higher.
“We're just so grateful that we never have a shortage of volunteers. Every week, I have new people applying to volunteer. At the moment, I’m filled up with volunteers needed at this time, but they can always fill out an application on our website.”
She said they have somewhere between 30 and 40 volunteers at any one time.
You can drop off donations at the Moose Jaw and District Food Bank Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can pick up hampers Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.