Canadian News

Alberta groups band together to provide food for those in need

The layoffs and quarantine have left many Albertans in need of help, prompting groups in Edmonton and Calgary to provide free groceries.

Quinn Patrick Montreal, QC
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A number of different Edmonton and Calgary groups are banding together to help feed those in need amid the pandemic, according to CTV News. The layoffs and quarantine have left many Albertans in need of help, prompting these groups to provide food for free, with no questions asked.

In Edmonton's Mill Woods, groups such as Bhullar and Dil-E-Punjab have partnered together to offer free nightly meals. All they ask is that people text them earlier in the day with how many meals they need, before showing up.

The program began several weeks ago and the meals are handed out each night between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Currently, there is enough money to keep the program running until the end of May.

“When a pandemic comes in we all have to work as a community, and then help each other, and that is what is happening right now,” said Bhullar.

Another group that has joined in to help is Sikh Youth Edmonton. They have received donations from various local grocery stores. The group gets their donations from local grocery stores and they offer emergency food kits that offer over 10 items. The kits are complete with dried pasta, rice and other staples equipped enough to get a typical household through the month.

“Lots of people who are newcomers or single parents, they are actually in need of this help,” said Manjit Singh, of Sikh Youth Edmonton. “There are a lot of people in need of food. They are really happy and they always appreciate what Sikh Youth is doing,” said Singh.

Fresh Routes is helping to deliver to people in both Edmonton and Calgary the food they need and over 1,700 emergency kits have already been delivered. For those who are able to contribute, it’s only $15 for a food box valued at twice as much, for those who can't, it's free. Their baskets come with bread, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables.

“We are seeing food insecurity really skyrocket during these times. It wasn’t a time to shut down the markets just because we couldn’t run the social markets; it was a time to pivot and really figure out just more ways we can help community,” said Lourdes Juan, of Fresh Routes.

These groups have relied on the help of public donations and financial support from other businesses as well. Sikh Youth Edmonton, Dil-E-Punjab and Fresh Routes are accepting donations to help keep these programs running as long as possible.

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