Salvation Army sees surprising food bank need increases in January | DrumhellerMail
Last updateWed, 17 Jul 2024 3pm

Salvation Army sees surprising food bank need increases in January


    Despite a decrease in housesholds helped this December, the Salvation Army is seeing a surprising rise in people in need of food bank services this January.

    “Since 2009, January’s activity has increased an incredible 45 per cent, that’s a lot of need and demand on our services,” says Lieutenant Matt Sheils. “Things have been really spiking.”
    The biggest statistic is the number of children the Army is helping, with a 61 per cent rise in activity of children in need from January 2010.
    “Families are just going through some rough times,” Sheils said. “Finding 'stable' employment is the top issue.  But when it comes to single parents with young children it is difficult for the parent to find work during decent hours, pay for childcare, and then give their family the attention they need.  It becomes quite an emotional and conflicting battle for them.”
    There was a 13 per cent increase in food bank need this January compared to last. The Salvation Army also brought 15 first-time households to their services in January (compared to 10 last year).
    “That’s a hard number to hear,” says Sheils.
    “There’s a rising need in this town that we have not been able to address well, as of yet. We saw December, and didn’t see as many people needing Christmas hampers. We were hoping things had stabilized.”
    Along with the Drumheller branch’s website ( offering monthly statistics and past trends, it’s providing a list of needed food items and ways to help stifle the growing need for foodbank services.
    The food bank shelves are “decently” supplied now, says the Army, but it won’t stay that way forever.
    “Because of all the children coming in, it’s snacks and lunch items that are flying off the shelves,” Sheils said about what’s needed most. “Financial donations also give us the flexibility to attack where the need is most.”
    The Salvation Army thanks the community for their incredible support through these tough times and encourages everyone to help us win this battle and get the numbers back down.

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