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Food banks need restocking

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Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for what we have.

While there are many individuals and families in Rainy River District who don’t always have food to put on their tables, agencies such as the local Salvation Army and the United Naive Friendship Centre are there to help them.

However, with fewer donations to the food banks, and more new families with children needing to use it all the time, supplies are running low. As such, the public is being asked to donate items or money to help turn things around.

Capt. Angel Sandoval of the Salvation Army said Friday the shelves are becoming bare at the local Citadel and they need the community’s support, adding he’s very concerned about being able to provide help to families who need food.

He noted the support isn’t nearly as strong as it’s been in the past. He recently sent out 1,000 letters of appeal to those who have donated to the Salvation Army in the past and so far only about two percent of those have sent in cheques.

Capt. Marlene Sandoval said “it breaks your heart” when families come in looking for food and the shelves are nearly bare.

Capt. Angel noted many families aren’t as fortunate as others, and that it’s a moral responsibility to help those in need.

He added the community, churches, businesses, schools, and the Town of Fort Frances need to work together to help keep the food bank fully stocked and provide other assistance to families in need, noting that all too often this doesn’t happen because different groups are going in “different directions.”

“Together, we can make a difference,” Capt. Angel stressed.

Those who want to donate can come by the Salvation Army Citadel (316 Victoria Ave.) on Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and give non-perishable food items or monetary donations.

Non-perishable food items needed include:

•canned soups (especially tomato, cream of mushroom, vegetable, and chicken noodle);

•canned vegetables (especially corn, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, and peas);

•canned fruit;

•canned meat (tuna, salmon, Klik, or ham);

•Kraft dinner;

•pastas (especially spaghetti and macaroni);

•spaghetti sauce;

•cereal;

•peanut butter and jam;

•tea/coffee; and

•sugar

Monetary donations for food also are encouraged (and, in fact, preferred as it allows the Salvation Army to buy in bulk and get more for their buck).

Families who need help can come by the family services office at the Citadel on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. They do not need an appointment, but must present I.D.

For more information, call the Salvation Army at 274-3871.

Meanwhile, the United Native Friendship Centre also reported that with autumn, the demand on the food bank has increased and now is the time to remember those less fortunate.

“We actually would love some donations. We always like donations,” UNFC homelessness outreach worker Rachel Spuzak said Monday morning.

“In the fall and the winter, there is a lot more demand for food,” Spuzak noted, explaining that with children back in school, the financial demands on families increases, leaving them with less money for food.

Those wanting to donate to the UNFC’s food bank can drop by 516 Portage Ave. on Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. If Spuzak’s not there, you can leave your food donations at the front desk.

Anyone in need can use the food bank. Simply drop by the UNFC office and talk to Spuzak.

In related news, the local Salvation Army is opening its doors to the public this Friday (Oct. 10) from noon-1:30 p.m. for a community Thanksgiving lunch.

Because space is limited at the Citadel, it will be a “first-come, first-served” gathering.

While the meal is free, goodwill offerings are welcome to help recoup costs, noted Capt. Angel Sandoval, stressing that everyone, regardless of need, is invited to attend.

Anyone who would like to help serve or cook can call the Salvation Army at 274-3871.

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