BY MARCUS DAY
Feed the Maple Creek Food Bank. It is badly in need of sustenance.
That’s the message from the Salvation Army as it prepares for a big Food Drive on Friday and Saturday, July 12-13.
The Army trailer will be in the parking lot near the Pioneer Co-op entrance between 9am and 6pm on both days.
“We are inviting people to place a donation in the trailer,” said the Army’s Captain Ed. “Let’s see if we can fill the trailer.”
As an extra incentive for people to go to the Co-op on those days, there will a free draw with a blue youth bicycle as a prize. People can only enter their names once. Two or more entries will lead to disqualification. The draw will take place on Saturday evening after the Food Drive.
“We are very proud to partner with the Co-op,” said Capt. Ed.
He added that summer always saw a rise in Food Bank use with schools closed and children eating more. The shelves now needed restocking with non-perishable food.
“The bank is looking parched, a little empty,” he said. “Our team of volunteers will check all the donated items.
“They will look at expiry dates and check for things like dents. The items will then be sorted according to product.”
The Salvation Army has a long list of much-needed Food Bank items, such as: pasta; pasta sauce; jam; sugar and flour (large bags please); regular Orange Pekoe tea; coffee (large cans please); cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix, syrup; canned fruit; canned vegetables (excluding corn); ketchup; salt and pepper; canned milk; vegetable oil (small bottles); and margarine (small squares).
Other items include soups (chicken and vegetable please); canned tuna and salmon; canned ham and turkey; brown beans, noodles (dried, add boiling water too); snacks for kids and lunches, boxed potatoes, noodle mixes (hamburger helper side kicks); juice mixes; rice; muffin and cake mixes; popcorn; jell-O and pudding; cereal; canned pasta (alphaghetti and Chef Boyardee); baking powder and potatoes.
Non-grocery items are also needed: razors; school supplies )pencils, backpacks, notebooks etc); laundry soap (boxes that we can divide or small bottles); toilet paper; shampoo; and feminine hygiene products.
For Capt. Ed and his wife, Capt. Charlotte, the generosity of people in Maple Creek constantly warms their hearts.
Capt. Ed was keen to give a big shout-out to the five Hutterite Colonies which regularly donate to the Food Bank, bringing in boxes of potatoes, carrots, radishes and corn. He also spoke of his joy recently when a Food Bank user becomes a contributor.
“The other day a family which has used the Food Bank a lot came here to donate food,” said Capt. Ed. “It’s so great when that happens.”
*Throughout the summer, the Salvation Army holds loonie-toonie lunch between noon and 1pm on Wednesday. It has been a tradition for more than 20 years.