A Drive Away Hunger food drive earlier this month had the community come together to meet an urgent need for the Rhineland and Area Food Bank.

Spokesperson, Ang Stoesz, was pleased with how the community showed its support. 

"It was very good. We had a lot of youth helping, we had a lot of people volunteering to help us put away, and when the truckloads of food started coming, they just kept coming. So that's great." 

Stoesz described the food bank shelves before the food drive.  

"They've been bare for a long time. We have been buying all the groceries for quite some time." 

She confirmed demand is growing.  

"Absolutely. It just climbs every week. Some weeks we are upwards of 65 hampers going out, and some of them (are) very large because we have some very large families."  

"Before, it used to be in waves," she added. "It would be more in the winter and then drop off in the summer, but now it's pretty steady. And of course, with grocery prices like they are that need is just growing."  

Stoesz added, the need is varied with those looking for support ranging from families to single people, from young to seniors, and attributes wages not keeping up with the rising cost of groceries.

While the food drive has put food on the bank's shelves, the need is on-going and many of the items are needed every week.  

"Cereal is always in demand. Peanut butter, canned soups, especially the big three: the tomato, the vegetable, the mushroom, the chicken noodle, spaghetti, macaroni, pasta sauce, canned meat, powdered juice. Those are the things we have every week." 

Additionally, Stoesz encouraged people to volunteer one Monday a month, adding it's very rewarding to get to know people and to hear their stories. 

"A big thank you to all (of) our supporters because we are very fortunate to live in the community that we do. We have just great, great support volunteer wise, financially wise, donation wise. Just a big thank you." 

Learn more about the Rhineland and Area Food Bank by following them on Facebook. 

~With files from Candace Derksen~


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