A strategy to put food on the tables of those in need will be loading up on Friday in Lloydminster.
Project Pallet will be creating a platform for cash donations to support local food banks at the Salvation Army and the Olive Tree.
Major Bond Jennings says their main fundraiser at the moment is the Christmas Cheer Kettle. However they welcome all avenues of community support. The funds raised from Project Pallet will mean that food banks have a cash account at the Lloydminster Co-op that they can access to buy the exact items of greatest need.
“To be able to collect 100 pallets of food; whether it’s the food or donations worth – the amount of what a pallet would cost; this is great for those of us in the community that are dealing with food security for people
Jennings says it’s a daily need at both the Olive Tree and Salvation Army to meet the needs of those who are struggling.
He notes that they need people to give of their time to be at the Christmas kettles.
“We’re in need of volunteers for our Christmas Cheer Kettles. If people can spare a couple of hours from now until Christmas Eve, we would certainly appreciate their help. We do kettles from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. We’re at Canadian Tire, Sobeys, Walmart, Superstore and the Lloyd Co-op on Fridays and Saturdays.”
Another program of the Salvation Army supplies groceries to kids in schools to take home on the weekends. Jennings says that program costs $120,000 annually. He adds the number of people asking for help at local food banks continues to increase.
“We have literally seen 150 new clients, new individuals, new families that have come to us seeking help this year that have never been to us before. We literally help anywhere between 250 to 300 people on a weekly basis. So food is very important.”
Residents can make donations directly at the tills at the Lloyd Co-op with the aim to raise 100 pallets of food donations. At $500 a pallet, the end goal is a $50,000 fund for the Olive Tree and Salvation to access at the Co-op.
“This program is amazing because we are going to have the ability to go down to the Co-op and purchase items as we need them – when we need them,” remarks Becky Schille with the Olive Tree.
Organizers, the Lloydminster and District Co-op and 106.1 FM – The Goat will run the Project Pallet effort from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday Dec. 9.