The Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank first began in response to a community need at Christmas; providing food and toys to families in need for a happier holiday. All of the goods and funds donated were used to fund the Christmas campaign, with only a minimal amount kept for the following year’s Christmas hamper start-up.
It soon became obvious, however, that community need extended beyond the holidays. In 1984, Father Floyd from Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church approached the Catholic Women’s League about organizing a food bank. The resulting simple program was operated by 4-5 volunteers helping out from all denominations, and was located in a small space donated by Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church.
A year later, representatives from the Food Bank group, the Christmas Hamper group, the Ministerial Association, and the City of Fort Saskatchewan met and formed the Fort Saskatchewan Food Gatherers Society. This group recognized a community need and thought they could use the annual Christmas Hamper Campaign to raise funds and provide food, not only for Christmas, but for the rest of the year. The excess food and funds from the Christmas Hamper Campaign was used to operate the Food Bank during the year, thus providing for those in need on a continual basis.
From 1992 to 2021, the Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank was located in a small building in the downtown area of Fort Saskatchewan. While quiet and easily accessible, it unfortunately did not allow for the operational expansion necessary to effectively serve the ever growing need for food, goods, and support throughout the community.
The Food Bank is now housed in the Fort Saskatchewan Nourishment Centre— an impressive, ultra-modern facility leased on the northern edge of the city, with enough space and potential to offer personal advancement classes and programs designed to feed not just hungry bodies, but hungry hearts and minds.