This week the Lac La Ronge Food Bank stopped by to check-in with both the Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief and Council and La Ronge Council as a part of an awareness session.

“When we talk to any of the councils, we try to go to the other two, because the food bank users, whether they are one-time users or a bit more regular are mostly from the tri-community,” Lac La Ronge Food Bank chairperson Trudy Connor says.

The awareness sessions are used to keep the whole community up to date with what is going on at the food bank.

The not-for-profit corporation receives no government funding and relies solely on donations, mostly from the communities.

Volunteers prepare food hampers on Mondays so they are ready for the next day.

The food bank provides about 5,000 pounds of food to community members in need every month.

Aside from financial donations, some of the most sought-after items include canned fish,  pork and beans, peanut butter, pasta, and rice.

Connor says there is a common misconception that fewer donations are needed during the summer months.

“Food bank usage doesn’t really slow down during the summer like you think it might. Some of the other programs, like school lunch or afterschool programs, aren’t there in the summer.”

In the summer, the food bank makes use of about six acres of land just south of La Ronge where volunteer gardeners spend time planting and harvesting a variety of fresh produce.

Everything from beans to potatoes and cucumbers to cabbage.

The food bank will also accept produce from community members who have their own private gardens.

“That would be absolutely fantastic, in fact, we can build upon it and say, ‘plant a tomato plant for us’ or ‘plant an extra half row of lettuce for us’, that would be more than welcomed,” Connor says.

During the winter months, the Lac La Ronge Food Bank also accepts fresh produce donations from Robertson’s Trading Post, Keethanow Food Supermarket and Giant Tiger.

Next week food bank volunteers will visit Air Ronge Council to wrap up their awareness sessions in the tri-community.

If you would like to volunteer at the food bank, you can contact Trudy Connor at 306-420-9448 or Warren Kelly at 306-425-5534.

Any financial donation inquiries can be directed to the treasurer at 306-425-9244 and electronic transfers are also welcome.

(PHOTO: Food bank volunteers hard at work prepping food hampers. Photo courtesy of Lac La Ronge Food Bank Facebook page.)