Piikani Food Bank Society takes first step toward charitable status

·2 min read

It’s been one month since Piikani Food Bank Society held its first community food drive and the organization has already hit another milestone.

On Oct. 22, the food bank was officially incorporated with the provincial government and director Jody Little Wolf is glad to see her efforts pay off.

“A lot of work went into getting us established in that little time of nine months,” she says. “I had to focus and I had a goal — to build a foundation with Pincher Creek and Fort Macleod and Lethbridge and get us established — and I’m pleased to say that I accomplished that.”

Being incorporated means the food bank is officially registered as a business under the provincial government, a status that enables the organization to apply for grants it wasn’t able to before and have more control over what products it spends money on.

Little Wolf says she’ll use grant money to buy supplies the Alberta Food Bank doesn’t provide, like cleaning products and a variety of meat from local regenerative farmers, which she wants to add to the food bank’s hampers.

It also paves the way for expansion. Little Wolf wants to finish renovating the kitchen so the food bank can start distributing hot meals and baked goods. She also plans to start an outdoor garden so the charity can produce its own fresh food and traditional medicine over the long term to share amongst Piikani Nation members and the broader regional community.

Her ultimate goal, she adds, is for the food bank to produce fresh and healthy food year round.

Little Wolf says she hopes her hard work will lead to further support from Piikani Nation Employment Services, which has been covering the wages of food bank workers since January. It is discontinuing financial support in December and Little Wolf will spend the next few months applying for employment grants and official charitable status to keep her team employed beyond this term.

Gillian Francis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze

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