As we celebrate the holiday season let us not forget those in our communities who for whatever reason find themselves in need of the services offered by their local food bank by making a food or monetary donation. Any and all donations are gratefully accepted, however, the Amherst Food Bank regularly finds itself short of the following items: peanut butter, jam, cheese whiz, pasta sauce, Kraft Dinner, Hamburger Helper, rice, canned fruit, canned meat, canned stew, juice and juice boxes, pudding packs, jello powder, cereal, feminine products, razors and deodorant.
If you would prefer to make a monetary donation cheques can be mailed to the Amherst Food Assistance Network at P.O. Box 45, Amherst, NS B4H 3Y6.
Anyone who needs the services of the food bank is eligible. There are a few basics requirements. Clients must have a permanent address. Current Nova Scotia Health Cards are required, or if you are in the process of getting them you are able to access the food bank. For example if a family of four, then four health cards must be brought to show that those people actually live in that family. Everyone is registered with Feed Nova Scotia on their data base. Health cards must be presented each time someone requires assistance. It is suggested strongly that people use the food bank once a month. However, if they require food a second time in the month they receive a few necessary items, not a full order.
If you know of someone in your neighbourhood or school environment that could benefit from the food bank please encourage them to visit us or perhaps offer to give them a drive if they lack or cannot afford transportation. Located on King Street in downtown Amherst, the food bank is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m.
Some dates to remember in the New Year: the second “ Fill the Tent Food Drive” sponsored by the Amherst Artisans Gallery will take place Feb. 15 to 17 at the Amherst Centre Mall. And the Cumberland Y Service Club and Amherst Y’s Menettes will hold their annual Spring Food Drive for the food bank on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
Clients, volunteers and donors are reminded that the Amherst Food Bank will be open for one hour on Friday, Dec. 22 but will be closed over the holiday period re-opening on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.
All the best this holiday season and may you all enjoy a healthy and prosperous New Year!
Ron Robinson is a member of the Amherst Food Assistance Network board of directors.