The Veterans Food Bank, faced with empty shelves says it needs up to $25,000 in groceries to feed veterans this year, at a time when fundraising projects are cancelled due to the pandemic

The Veterans Association Food Bank received a much-needed financial boost today in the form of a $5,000 donation from the North Hill Lions Club.

As with many other organizations, the Veterans Food Bank is struggling to meet its annual goals as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The food bank is now considering buying groceries to make up for a shortfall in food donations.

“We’re facing the very realistic possibility of having to purchase $20, 000 - $25, 000 in groceries,” said Charles Redeker of the Veterans Association Food Bank.  “At this time last year, our warehouse was full of food, (whereas) this year we have a lot of empty shelves, and we don’t have a stock of food.”

Redeker cites the reduction or cancellations of corporate and community food drives, as well as an emphasis on remote workplaces as having a significant impact on donations in food.

Despite facing a challenging economic climate, the North Hill Lions Club prioritized funds for the Veterans Food Bank.  “Raising funds has been very difficult, almost non-existent,” said Shirley Green of the Lions Club.  “Most of the projects we do couldn’t happen this year due to social distancing guidelines; fortunately we had a substantial casino fundraising campaign and that’s where the funds are from.”

Redeker said the donation will go a long way towards providing food for veterans in need. “For organizations like the Lions Club to be struggling themselves yet still recognize there’s a need in the community, speaks volumes to the character of those types of outfits," Redeker said.

Individuals or organizations interested in financial or food donations to the Veterans Association Food Bank can visit their website at www.vafb.ca, by phone at 403-367-8387, or in-person at the food bank office located at 820, 28 S. N.E. 

The Veterans Association Food Bank is open Monday through Friday from 8:00-4:00 p.m.