The population in Airdrie grew almost 7% in 2015 but the amount of people requiring help from the Food Bank grew 59%.

The significant increase in the forth quarter for the Food Bank saw a 77% growth in it's number of food hampers given out and in total helped feed 26,125 in 2015.

Quinn Donaldson, the General Manager of Airdrie Food Bank, is attributing the increase to the economic downturn in Alberta, saying people from all industries are being affected.

"We're hearing from a lot of people, they're struggling to find work right now, people's hours have been reduced, jobs have been cut, we're seeing an increase in the cost of food right now and I think people are just struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table."

A food hamper is given to people and includes about 7-10 days worth of food depending on the family and is based on how big the family is.

Donaldson knows the amount of food given out so far this year has been higher than normal and typically the Christmas donations last until late Spring but this year those Christmas donations may not last as long as it has in the past.

The Food Bank has relied on the community in the past and Donaldson doesn't have any worries when asked if there is any chance people may have to be turned away in the future.

Donaldson said when times get tough the generosity around Airdrie typically grows, "Airdrie is an amazing community and they continue to step up and those that could give absolutely continue to do that... every donation helps to feed someone."

The Food Bank has made a few changes to meet the growing need with increased volunteer hours and having four food hamper days instead of three.

Last year the Food Bank helped more than 6,000 more people than it did in 2014 and almost twice as many people in December in 2015 compared to 2014.

Every donation counts whether it's buying a couple extra things at the grocery store and putting it in the bin on the way out or coming in to drop something off or financial donations.

For more information on how to donate or receive support from the Airdrie Food Bank visit their website.

Ryan King - [email protected]

 

 

 

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