June 21st, 2024

Funding for food banks vital, says Nixon


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on December 1, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Last week the provincial government announced up to $20 million in support of food banks and other civil service agencies across the province.

From that, $10 million is set to release over two years, with $5 million being distributed within weeks and the second $5 million allocated for use in fiscal year 2023-24.

With over 100 food banks across the province, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services, Jeremy Nixon told the Herald Wednesday that they are working with the Alberta Food Banks and local Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) offices as they’re familiar with local organizations, not just food banks but also other not-for-profit organizations that work towards addressing food security issues in the communities.

“We’re rolling that out through the FCSS who have those relationships established within the communities to best determine how funds will be used,” said Nixon.

He said their hope is to get those funds out as soon as possible to the organizations that need it.

“We don’t want people going hungry this Christmas, that’s why we are rolling this out as quickly as possible,” said Nixon.

He said that in addition to the $10 million over two years, the provincial government is allocating an additional $10 million over two years in matching funds towards Alberta food banks, charities, not-for-profits and civil society organizations.

“$5 million was directly given to make sure we addressed the immediate crisis and an additional $5 million next year will be available for matching donations, so it’s not limited to Christmas it’s year around,” said Nixon.

He said food banks have been traditionally good at mobilizing and engaging with the community but coming out of the pandemic food banks have been challenged because donations have dropped down, as well as volunteerism.

“We’re just trying to help encourage all Albertans to be part of the solution, either through donating or volunteering, but being a part of their community and in helping make sure their neighbours don’t go hungry this Christmas, so I think that’s an important part of this announcement,” said Nixon.

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Say What . . .

Lethbridge food banks and supports for clothing, etc., are heavily impacted by the addiction/homeless crisis!
Many donor dollars have been diverted to various non-profits in this crisis and now that budgets at all levels are being slashed and inflation hits the homes of the donors, there is a shortage in many areas.

IMO

Throwing money at food banks is not the answer for solving food insecurity. What is required is income security reform.