food basket

Vivian and Frank Dourte, with the Southern Kings and Queens Food Bank in Montague, expect to help 300 families with Christmas hampers this year.

“We always need canned beans and peanut butter. We’re very short on cereal right now,” Ms Dourte said.

The food bank is also looking to fill a need for pasta sauce after a donation of 1,200 pounds of dry pasta was supplied by Atlantic Superstore in Montague.

This will be the third Christmas the Dourtes have been at the food bank and they have seen a trend in donations this time of year.

“Donations are usually really good at Christmas time and then after that they just stop,” Ms Dourte said, adding that after Christmas is usually when food bank funds are used to stock the shelves.

Two items that aren’t being donated in the prelude to the holidays are diapers and feminine hygiene products.

Ms Dourte said both items are expensive and people may not think to add them to their donations.

Monetary donations can be made through the food bank’s Facebook page and clicking “learn more”. Food donations are accepted at bins inside the Credit Union, Sobeys and Superstore, all in Montague.

In Souris, Ronnie McIntosh, Executive Director at that food bank, says there hasn’t been a need for a specific item but he sees an increased demand for the service to the community.

This has been a trend in recent years, he said.

Mr McIntosh said the food bank mostly stocks canned goods and other non-perishable food items but will try to bring in fresh fruit and vegetables.

The area the food bank serves has also expanded.

“We once thought we were the Souris Food Bank and that typically would be East Point to Dingwell Mills but we pushed the boundary to the Dundas area and past Morell,” Mr McIntosh said, adding the extended coverage area and increased demand are related issues.

The Souris Food Bank has been a recipient of the Montague Gold Mine Charity Fund since the weekly toonie draws started in 2012. This funding has allowed the food bank to not be as reliant on donations as in the past.

Monetary donations can be made to the Souris Food Bank through canadahelps.org

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