Edmonton Meals Financial institution Initiative goes ‘Past Meals’ – Edmonton

The Edmonton Food Bank feeds more than 22,000 people each month. With the help of an initiative, the organization wants to drastically reduce this number.

The chalkboard is constantly on duty in the community, providing food to needy Edmontons. Its central warehouse collects and distributes groceries to more than 250 agencies, churches and food depots across Edmonton.

But organization goes beyond food; Providing people with tools that can help them escape the cycle of hunger.

Executive Director Marjorie Bencz said the food bank has partnered with volunteers, partner organizations and community institutions to provide resources through the Beyond Food program.

LISTEN BELOW: Edmonton’s Food Bank Initiative Goes Beyond Food

“We were able to mobilize various community partners who have expertise in certain areas. Edmonton’s Food Bank specializes in groceries. In recent years we have turned to partners to offer additional services, ”said Bencz.

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“We’re working to see what services they can offer locally to help people turn to the blackboard.”

The Bissell Center, Boyle Street and the Salvation Army have all partnered with the Tafel to reduce reliance on food resources over time.

“The Salvation Army was there for several weeks and organized tax clinics. It helped people fill out their income tax, which led to other types of support in the households.

“These financial and tax services have helped us give people SIN numbers and fill out forms that trigger different types of income support,” said Bencz.

The Bissell Center has a long history of delivering these services to the community, Bencz said. Edmonton Food Bank brought the organization on-site to help with résumés, job searches and interviews.


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At a job fair held by the Tafel in January 2019, 50 of the almost 150 applications were submitted.

“If people are employed, they can pay their rent. They can take care of their children. You will have a different kind of independence than depending on the board or the support systems. “

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Tamisan Bencz-Knight, manager of strategic relationships and partnerships at Edmonton Food Bank, told 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen Show in April 2019 that the organization was experiencing significant lows.

LISTEN BELOW: Edmonton and Calgary boards showing lows

When comparing the first quarter of 2019 with the first quarter of 2018, the table declined by around 30,000 kilograms of public food donations.


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“The challenge we are facing right now is the number of people who need our help. We have felt it since 2014, when the economy began to weaken.

“Traditionally we are currently low, but not that low. We have some major concerns, ”said Bencz-Knight.

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Bencz said food banks across Canada have evolved to meet the needs of individual communities.

“Some [food banks] make kitchens in their space. Some offer other types of social work. It varies from community to community. We are fortunate to have these great partnerships and organizations that want to help us in special and unique ways. We grow and learn from this model.

“Every day we see new ways to help people without duplicating what is already happening.”

Beyond Food started small when the conversations started in 2015.

“In 2016 things really started. At the end of 2017 we opened the doors to the Learning Lab, our job center. It’s a relatively new program, ”said Bencz. “We also received a grant from the Alberta government to offer free security tickets to improve resumes.”

Going forward, Bencz hopes the program will hold its pace so that the demand for food may subside.

“We see around 16 people every day in the Beyond Food program. It would be nice if we could see more people.

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“If you can benefit from the program and don’t need the service of the Tafel, that’s a success.”

Beyond Food is open to everyone and is typically a drop-in program Monday through Friday. All services are free.

A new website should be launched this year.

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