Surprisingly, the biggest demand at the Salvation Army Food Bank right now is for pasta and pasta sauce.
“Usually we got so much of the pasta, but we actually had to buy pasta and sauce,” said Capt. Melissa Mailman, from the Weyburn Salvation Army.
“Canned meat is another must, which is also unusual since we usually have a ton of canned meat, and once again we had to go out and buy things like tuna, chicken and ham,” said Mailman. “We also need healthy school snacks, canned vegetables and ground beef.”
There are requirements that must be followed when donating ground beef because of health and food regulations. “It needs to be professionally packaged; a person just can’t cut their own ground beef in half and wrap it,” said Mailman. She recommends for residents to buy a one-pound package of ground beef from any of the local butchers.
“We generally give out ground beef, but we will accept small packages of pork chops, small fryer chickens and hams.”
The Salvation Army Food Bank does have an over-abundance of soup in their shelves. They also have a lot of canned corn, but are still seeking other canned vegetables.
When residents are selecting non-perishable foods to donate, they are asked to look for an expiration date. “We can’t accept any food after its expiry date. We love to have, and gladly accept their donations, but we just want them to look for any expiry dates,” said Mailman.
Residents can donate any of their non-perishable food during the 18th annual “Stamp Out Hunger” by the Weyburn Post Office on Saturday, Sept. 28, starting at 9 a.m.
During this annual event, employees, family and friends at the Weyburn Post Office will pick up food donations.
“We so enjoy the ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ for numerous reasons,” said Mailman. “It just pads our food bank for quite awhile going into the very busy seasons here, especially with Christmas just around the corner. It is also super important for other reasons.”
“It brings the community together, and it’s such an easy way to donate because residents can simply put the food outside their doorstep,” said Mailman. “It is also an awesome way for people to volunteer to help us put the food away, and see what is going on at our food bank.”
Residents are encouraged to place donations of non-perishable items, school supplies or storable garden produce outside their residence or apartment building entrance. All donations must be visible from the street.
“Stamp Out Hunger” food drive notices were recently sent out to residents and apartment buildings. These notices should be attached to all donations.
Customer who receive mail from a PO box may drop their donation off at the Weyburn Post Office during regular business hours, Mondays to Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Anyone who wants to volunteer to help the Salvation Army in stocking all the donated food from “Stamp Out Hunger” can show up at their office at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28.
Another big food drive is “Drive Away Hunger”, organized by Farm Credit Canada (FCC), and usually takes place in each of the elementary and junior high schools in Weyburn.
“That food drive is super fun because Mike and I get to go around to the schools and pump up the children. It is an awesome opportunity to teach children at a young age why it is so important to give to a food bank,” said Mailman.
The most important lesson is that the food bank is just like a regular bank, and donated food is accepted at any time. It is there in case a person or a family might need it later.
“This event also promotes awareness of the food bank, and it is another easy way to donate since parents just have to send their non-perishable food items to school with their child.”
One last way to help support the Salvation Army is to book a table at their upcoming trade show, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 5 at their Weyburn location.
“This is an excellent opportunity to raise money and awareness for our food bank. Everyone wins,” said Mailman.
Tables cost $20, and all rental costs will be used by the Salvation Army in two programs, the food bank and their Children and Youth program. To book a table contact Dana Blohm or contact the Weyburn Salvation Army office.
The food bank is a year-round operation. All clients of the food bank are kept confidential, and there are no costs.