By Roman Hayter

The Lac La Ronge Food Bank is seeing a rise in demand for food hampers. With increases on the price of food, the organization is faced with a higher potential of clients. The food bank used to send out hampers once every four weeks but now has to send them out once every six weeks due to the overall demand.

“Because of logistics and being able to deliver at home, we’ve capped it at 40 hampers, whereas when clients came to the food bank, we used to serve about 60 to 80 clients, and I’m sure now that we could probably have a hundred clients or more because of the price of food,” said Warren Kelly, Vice President of the Lac La Ronge Food Bank.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, clients were able to come to the food bank to pick up their food hampers. This changed after COVID, with the food bank now delivering food hampers to homes due to the large crowds of clients that would gather at the food bank.

Kelly predicts the Christmas season will be a busy time for the food bank, but the organization receives lots of support from other local groups in the community.

“We have a number of groups that will be giving out hampers, like the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, the Kikinahk Friendship Center, Men in the North, and of course the food bank,”  Kelly said. “There are a lot of events coming up towards Christmas from the Provincial Nutrien Food Campaign that CBC does, the Ice Wolves are having a game this Saturday and if you bring some food there you only have to pay five dollars to see the game.”

The La Ronge Elks Club used to host a food drive for donations to the Lac La Ronge Food Bank, but due to COVID, the food drives have been canceled. Kelly said the Elks used to bring in lots of different food items, but since the start of the pandemic, the organization has been having to buy food from the stores with money donations.

“I don’t think the Elks will be having another food drive anymore, but we certainly got a lot of food from that, so that means that we will have to buy more food. We get some donations from some of the local grocery stores, but we also buy food; our budget is about $6000 a month, and that’s all from donations,” Kelly explained.

Those who wish to donate to the Lac La Ronge Food Bank can contact the organization through their Facebook page.

(Photo courtesy of the Lac La Ronge Food Bank Facebook.)