Airdrie Food Bank staff issued a call-out for help this week, citing an "unprecedented" food shortage that has led to volunteer shifts being cancelled for this September.
On Wednesday, a press release from the local non-profit stated the food bank's stockpiles have diminished to the lowest levels staff and volunteers have ever seen, even resulting in volunteer shifts being cancelled for September.
The announcement comes as the food bank prepares to launch an annual city-wide food drive on Sept. 16.
"As we gear up for the Annual Citywide Food Drive scheduled for September 16, 2023, we find ourselves in a situation with no food available for sorting and cancelling many volunteer shifts in September," the release stated.
"The food drive plays a crucial role in our current and ongoing efforts, offering support through the holidays, winter, and spring and providing essential nourishment to those in need."
According to the press release, the food bank has had to allocate funds to bridge the gap in purchasing 15 or more of its most needed items.
"Our shelves are bare of essentials such as soup, baked beans, pancake mix, syrup, Kraft Dinner, side dishes, peanut butter, and jam," it stated. "These are staples we ensure are included in the hampers we distribute."
Compounding the difficulties of depleted food stockpiles, the food bank states the number of clients they serve has risen 55 per cent, with 44 per cent being children.
Grimly, they claimed that is 12 per cent higher than the national average.
"It is a reality that children in our community attend school on an empty stomach, resulting in a negative impact on both their physical and mental health as well as their academic achievements," the release stated.
The release concluded by stating there are many ways Airdronians can assist the food bank, starting by donating to the Sept. 16 food drive. Prior to that date, Airdronians will receive a donation bag delivered to their front door, and are asked to fill the bag with essential non-perishable foods that can be added to a meal or served as standalone nourishment and school-friendly snacks.
"Please do not donate expired goods, food past their best before, damaged cans or packages, homemade foods, unsealed or opened items or alcohol," the release stated.
For those who want to support the food drive, the food bank states to please have your bags ready by the designated time. On the day of the drive, volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will be around to collect them.
"If your donation bag has not been picked up, please contact the provided number on the donation slip or drop off your contribution at the food bank or any grocery store donation bin," the release stated.
Another way the public can help is to consider becoming a one-time donor or a monthly donor. This can be done through submitting a form found on the Airdrie Food Bank's website website, and details can be found on the bag tag.
The Airdrie Food Bank is located at 20 East Lake Way.