WESTLOCK – Westlock Food Bank President Sharon Kennedy was over the moon with happiness after receiving two large cash donations totaling $10,576.23.
The Westlock Rotary Interact youth group donated $5,000 through their fund raising efforts.
Sobeys Westlock, owned by Tom and Susan Vesely and Sobeys Liquor Store in Westlock, managed by Ilona Lampen donated $5,576.23. Susan Vesely said, “This donation was made possible by our incredible community who gave at the register for the Joy of Giving Christmas Campaign. We want to thank Sobeys Liquor Store Manager Ilona Lampen for partnering with us to make this happen.” Tom and Susan Vesely donated another $1,000 to top up this donation of $5,576.23.
“I am very happy!” Sharon Kennedy told the News . “Funds are slowly coming in and helping us out, and I am very happy.”
Kennedy said she has been getting three or four phone calls a day from people wanting to donate either cash and some food items as well.
“We really appreciate the cash donations, because then we can go out and buy the supplies that we need,” she added.
As far as food items, when people ask what food do you need, Kennedy said it is hard to say “We need this, this and this. There is still some stuff that we are not able to get from week to week at the stores, so we just have to go week to week and see what we get from the stores, and take it from there.”
Food Bank still open!
She said recently, they haven’t been serving too many families, as there had been a problem in communication. Kennedy said people are checking Google Maps, and it is showing the Westlock Food Bank is permanently closed.
“They’ve got the wrong address. They’ve got my home address, not the Memorial Hall, which is 9936-106 St. in Westlock (a block west of Main Street).”
The Food Bank is open every Tuesday from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm.
She said, “We are definitely open, and they can call me to check on the opening or donate (780-349-4404), we have not shut down at all!”
Kennedy added if people phone and she isn’t available to “Please leave a message and I will call them back.”
She said in March when they did their hunger count, they had 317 people using the Food Bank and they did 147 hampers, which is an increase from last year.
“Normally, we would have 60 to 120 people per week,” Kennedy said. Whether those numbers will increase in the coming months is hard to guess, but she expects there will be an increase in clientele. “We’re here to help.”
Regarding the recent donations, she said it will be a big help, and go a long ways – a few months, anyway. “We usually spend between $3,000 and $4,000 a month on groceries. And it’s not the expensive stuff. A lot of it is easy cooking for people.”
Kennedy said, “We say it all the time when we talk to people – this is one of the most caring communities that I’ve ever lived in!”
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