The number of residents seeking food from the Fort St John Women’s Resource Society has spiked.
The society's outreach store saw 1,039 residents access food services in April, and 865 between May 3 and 18.
Fortunately, the community is coming together to help meet that demand, said Executive Director Amanda Trotter.
“Our community is fantastic, people are incredibly generous. Again, Fort St John is stepping up,” said Trotter. “Things come in waves, we had a lot of men asking for help, right now it's women. Food is food, we need to be able to provide it, that’s the bottom line.”
Still, the society needs ongoing support to keep its shelves stocked.
One challenge with donations is expired food, which can’t be used, Trotter said. The golden rule is to donate items you would consider eating yourself, she said.
“It’s certainly something we’re battling with, not necessarily on this new call right now," said Trotter. "But we have had huge amounts of donations done, and the food is all expired, which means we then have to go and get more because you cannot give expired food to vulnerable populations.”
And with summer on the way, Trotter said there’s opportunity for growers to share extra produce, with eggs and other goods already available.
Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News