The Northern Lights Casino fundraiser for the PA Food Bank. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski
An impressive showing at a barbecue fundraiser for the Prince Albert Food Bank hosted by the Northern Lights Casino has brought in more than $6,300.
Of that total, $5,000 is coming from the casino's Community Development Corporation and SIGA.
That money will go towards operations at the Food Bank, which creates food hampers for thousands of people each month. Half of those people are children, said Executive Director Wes Clark.
"We're now tracking the ages of the children that are coming so that we can identify the early childhood ones. It's very disturbing,” Clark said.
The PA Food Bank's Wes Clark. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski
The food bank’s mandate is primarily to serve families and children, which Clark said is the majority of their clientele.
"Adults make decisions, but children are innocent. And no matter what the cause might have been, whatever happened with that family, those children were not the reason for that, and they should not be punished.”
Friday’s barbecue was right outside City Hall, and the location near the downtown attracted a lot of people, including some homeless who didn't have enough money to buy their own meal.
People went out of their way to donate above and beyond the $5 price of their meal, so that everyone left with a full stomach. Those were the real heartwarming moments for the casino's Richard Ahenakew.
Richard Ahenakew with Northern Lights Casino workers. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski
He also said he was impressed to see that local candidates in the upcoming city election were more focused on grilling burgers than politicking. They were invited to join in on the fundraiser.
There have been similar efforts for the PA Food Bank going on around Prince Albert all summer as demand has grown steadily since before Christmas. There have been fundraising blitzes throughout the summer in Prince Albert, including a Pokemon Go-themed drop-in donation night at the PA Historical Museum and a number of local businesses collecting donations.
Summer is usually a dry time for the food bank as shelves get emptier, and by August they had to reduce their food hampers to 20 per cent of the products people would usually receive.
This issue dates all the way back to Christmas. Demand on the food bank drops around that time because of other community events – but not this time. Demand actually went up this year.