By Erika Mathieu
Westwind Weekly News
The food pantry is independent of other food security initiatives in southern Alberta, and SASH is focusing on a collaborative approach including through partnerships with Lethbridge and Raymond-based organizations, “to create opportunity for our organization and be able to give back,” said Devon Ferguson, the Coordinator of Community Access at SASH.
The pantry will offer residents zero barrier access to food supports, but the pantry is not a food bank.
“We’re not a food bank we are just a food pantry. This service is intended to supplement, not fill homes with every food for good a household would require. If we can support people in our area to help get them through to that next payday, that is where we want to be.”
Right now, Magrath does not have any food banks, which is why partnerships with agencies and organizations like the Interfaith Food Bank are going to be critical, as they offer a rural food share program.
Ferguson said SASH is not concerned with the economic status of those accessing the support. “If you need us, we recognize that and you will be supported.”
For the foreseeable future, the food pantry will operate thanks to volunteerism, but the hope is that down the road in about a year’s time, the organization will have compiled enough data regarding the usage to be able to work more collaboratively with organizations such as Alberta Food Banks.
The pantry is located behind the main building at 22 1 St., in the organization’s wood-working building.
The food pantry is currently collecting donations for non-perishable food and personal/hygiene items.
SASH will be hosting an open house and soft launch on June 14 from 4:30-6:30 p.m., with the first round of hampers set to be distributed on June 23.
Individuals interested in volunteering with the food pantry or making a donation can contact the organization via email at email@example.com