Food bank supplies dwindling

Summer is not just a time for boating, fishing, and sun tanning. For some in the community, it is a time of need.
“This summer has been typically low,” said Capt. Eric Alcock of the local Salvation Army. “We don’t get a lot of donations in the summer months.”
The local food bank is low on all supplies now and Capt. Alcock said something has to be done to rectify this problem.
“I think we always have to be reminding people that there are needs that we must meet,” he stressed. “There is a regular demand. There is always somebody coming in and using the food bank regardless of what time of year it is.”
Capt. Alcock said there’s a misconception that a food bank is not necessary in smaller towns. But this definitely is not the case.
“Over the past two to three years, we have had over 100 people a month using the facilities,” he noted.
The local Salvation Army currently is assessing its food drive options for this fall. In previous years, it has managed a town-wide drive where residents were asked to place non-perishable food items outside their homes for pick-up.
Although these drives were successful, they also taxed the Salvation Army’s resources.
This year, they plan to continue their association with students at Fort Frances High School—a strategy that has been successful the past few years.
“The high school usually does a tremendous job,” said Capt. Alcock.
Of course, this drive won’t begin until the school year does in September so until then, Capt. Alcock is forced to deal with dwindling supplies.
“Right now, we are lower than we like to be,” he said. “We don’t like to be so careful about what we give out. When somebody comes for food, we try to give them something that will help them.”
Supplies the food bank usually stocks that currently are low include spaghetti, macaroni, soup, frozen milk, and Hamburger Helper. But Capt. Alcock also stressed they’ll also accept perishable food items such as ground meat if the donor can call ahead and make arrangements to have it refrigerated.
“We are the last port of call,” Capt. Alcock said, referring to the desperation some food bank users feel. “It’s easy to forget that sometimes people are in situations that they didn’t necessarily get themselves into.”