Edmontons Meals Financial institution celebrates 40 years of service to the group – Edmonton

Edmonton’s Food Bank celebrates an important milestone on Saturday: 40 years of community service.

The Tafel collects donations through grocery stores, the food industry and public donations to help people with food insecurity.

Edmonton Food Bank volunteers load a vehicle in the mid-1980s.

Courtesy: Edmontons Food Bank

The organization began when a group of inner-city agencies hoped to redirect excess food to people who were stricken with food insecurity in Edmonton.

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“There has always been some kind of ministry like churches; The blackboard was a different type of structure – a more collaborative structure to bring food into the organization from other sources, ”said managing director Marjorie Bencz.


Click here to play the video: 'Chris Scheetz drives Zamboni from Calgary to Edmonton to the grocery bank'


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Chris Scheetz drives Zamboni from Calgary to Edmonton to the grocery bank


Chris Scheetz drives Zamboni from Calgary to Edmonton to the grocery bank – July 27, 2020

The organization was formed as the Edmonton Gleaners Association on January 16, 1981 to provide a formal structure to distribute additional groceries to customers. At the time, it operated from the Prince of Wales Armories.

“We were the first ‘food bank’ in Canada,” explained Bencz. “Other churches were quick to pick up on it and say, ‘This is what we have to do to give people a better option.'”

Bencz has seen the development of the tablets first hand.

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She became executive director in 1989 and volunteered for the organization prior to her appointment.

Volunteer in the Prince of Wales Armories in 1984.

Courtesy: Edmontons Food Bank

“I think we tried to respond very well as a community to situations like they happened,” said Bencz.

LISTEN: Edmonton’s Food Bank is celebrating 40 years

“In the last few years there have been 60,000 or more people who have gone through the basket program every year. This does not include how often you have visited us. “

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The organization has also launched programs to provide tools to escape the hunger cycle, such as the “Beyond Food” program.

“It helps people write résumés, job searches, and security tickets,” said Bencz. “We had to freeze this a bit and start doing it virtually during COVID-19.”

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Bencz said there was more to be done on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic

“Time can be one of our most precious gifts,” she said. “Year after year, people come to volunteer and support our work.”

Edmontons Food Bank volunteers in an undated photo.

Courtesy: Edmontons Food Bank

The board tells stories from the last 40 years.

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If you would like to donate to Edmonton’s Food Bank, click here.

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