The Moose Jaw and District Food Bank has begun to enact some changes as they find themselves under their first ever executive director. 

The first of these changes serves to help better serve the changing needs of food bank clients, that being the addition of extended hours. 

“We’ve known for a long time that a lot of folks who may need access to our services aren’t able to during our regular hours right now,” said Deann Little, Public Relations Manager with the Moose Jaw and District Food Bank. 

The extended hours will take effect on June 1, 2024, and will allow clients to access services every Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with the regular food hamper hours also being extended until 1:00 p.m. 

“That’s exciting to know that we’ll be able to reach out to a lot more people that are struggling with food insecurity.” said Little. 

Little notes that the hours people can drop off food donations are also being expanded to now accept donations from 9:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday, an increase of two hours per day. 

More volunteers are going to be needed to help cover these hours says Little, who encourages the public to check out the Moose Jaw and District Food Bank’s social media pages to see which positions and times are available, as well as to submit applications to volunteer.  

The alteration of operating hours also allows the Food Bank to prepare for what they anticipate being the continued demand for their services. 

“There are now more dual income households that are having to access our services and food banks across Canada than ever before,” said Little. “We want to be able to help those in need as best we can.”  

The demand has been growing substantially, with the Food Bank noting a 58 per cent increase in usage during 2023 alone. Meaning that they serve over 700 households a month, for a total of over 1800 people assisted with food insecurity, of which 40 per cent are school age children. 

A large food drive is being held to assist the Food Bank in catering to this increased demand for service. 

“We do have a big food drive taking place at Superstore,” said Little. “Saturday June 1st, they will have food products available at the tills that people can purchase, and we will be on site accepting donations to help keep the shelves stocked over here.” 

Little explains that the food drives help the Food Bank weather the summer months, where their supply drops the most.  

“We have our lean times during that season and so this is hoping to really keep us stocked and filled until the fall.”