By Dale Woodard on May 12, 2021.
As they aim for their goal of bringing in 50,000 pounds of food, the Lethbridge Food Bank is still looking for volunteers to help haul that in.
The Lethbridge Food Bank Society and Interfaith Food Bank’s Target Hunger hits the streets June 12 and last week the Lethbridge Foodbank went online to bring in volunteers.
“Last year we had 250 volunteers. That includes sorting and picking up and delivering. It takes a lot of people to get the whole city covered,” said Mac Nichol, executive director for the Lethbridge Food Bank.
May 1 was the opening day for volunteers to sign up.
“It’s pretty good,” said Nichol. “We’re filling in a lot of previous volunteers who have picked up their same route. So we have the west and south routes being picked up. Our north (route) is a bit slow, but it’s going well.”
After reaching between 40,000 and 47,000 pounds of food in previous drives, Target Hunger is upping the ante to 50,000 pounds this year.
“This year we’re hoping to push it up a little bit,” said Nichol. “In the past we’ve had higher goals, but this year we want to make sure we reach it. So we’ve put (out) a goal and we hope Lethbridge can meet it.”
Volunteers will be needed to help reach that goal and there are two main roles.
“There’s route pick up and there’s sorting and bringing the food into the food bank,” said Nichol. “Both can be done by individuals or groups. For groups, it’s usually good to come to the food bank to help get the food out of people’s cars and into the food bank. But anyone can volunteer.”
On the day of the event, people put out food on their front porches or yards.
“Each person who picks up a route will go and pick up all the food on that route and deliver it either to the Lethbridge Food Bank or the Interfaith Food Bank, depending on which one they’ve been given,” said Nichol. “When they arrive, that food gets taken out and brought into the food banks.”
As the pandemic continues and puts financial strain on families in the process, Nichol noted the importance of Target Hunger this year.
“Jobs are obviously not easy to find. We do have a lot of current clients who are needing to access the food bank and in these tough times it’s really important to make sure the food is covered so they can work from there and make sure they’re still healthy and doing well.
“This is one of our biggest community events that involves everybody. With COVID, a lot of other events that involve the community haven’t been able to run and this is one that still continues.”
While Target Hunger is a designated safe fundraising event, Nichol said protocol will still be followed among the volunteers.
“Community members are suggested to wear masks while doing pickup and delivery and on-site we have COVID sign-in tools as well as sanitation constantly happening and everyone volunteering at the food banks will be wearing masks.
To sign up to volunteer, visit http://www.targethunger.com.
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