“This community has got a big heart, it’s so generous,” Pam Towers said while telling Rotary members about Sylvan Lake Food Bank.
“There’s such amazing support.”
Since January, the food bank has given out 680 hampers. These have gone to 397 adults and 283 families which included 548 children.
The food bank is open from 9 a.m. to noon every Wednesday in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Then at other times during the week, hampers are available at Sylvan Lake and Area Community Partners’ Association office on 50th Avenue.
“We see a lot of families, people who have just moved to Sylvan Lake,” said Towers. With utility hookups and damage deposits they’re financially stretched and “may use the food bank for two or three months until they get caught up”.
At other times they see single adults who have lost a job, need help because of health issues or are waiting for a government cheque.
“What they need most is encouragement, understanding and often a big hug,” said Towers.
Through financial donations, she told Rotarians, the food bank is able to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, milk and butter for the hampers.
“We have wonderful volunteers. We see lots of tears and heartfelt thanks,” Towers said.
Last Christmas food bank volunteers prepared 47 hampers. They do this only for adults and couples since the Christmas Bureau handles hampers for families.
“We refer families to them,” said Towers of the special hampers which provide for bountiful Christmas meals.
Referring again to the community’s support of the food bank, Towers said, “the school kids get so excited when they do a food drive. Every school in this town does them at Christmas and at other times of the year.”