Canadian Red Cross supports Edmonton’s Food Bank assistance of 2016 wildfire evacuees

St Albert, AB: The Canadian Red Cross has contributed $424,000 to Edmonton’s Food Bank to help replenish food supplies used to support last summer’s wildfire evacuees.

This donation was the final portion of a $2.6 million donation to Food Banks Alberta to support 19 food banks across the province who stepped in to assist in the aftermath of the Wood Buffalo Region evacuation in May, 2016.

Thousands of evacuees arrived in Edmonton and neighboring communities immediately after the evacuations and the food bank played a key role in supporting those people with food supplies.

“Over the summer of 2016, we provided food, both directly and indirectly, to thousands of Wood Buffalo evacuees in Edmonton and northern Alberta,” said Marjorie Bencz, executive director of Edmonton’s Food Bank.  

“Funds from the Canadian Red Cross will cover food and food related items sent to communities outside of Edmonton in May and June and help us replenish some of our food inventory,” she said.

The Canadian Red Cross donation was managed by Food Banks Alberta and funds were provided to food banks to cover the immediate and critical short-term response costs they absorbed when they provided food and support to evacuees across the province.

“Food banks provide an essential service in ongoing recovery efforts in emergency situations and we are pleased that the Canadian Red Cross recognizes the work these charities did on the ground,” said Stephanie Rigby, executive director of Food Banks Alberta, the provincial association of food banks.

“The impacts of last year’s wildfire were widespread, as Wood Buffalo residents sought refuge in communities across Alberta. The Canadian Red Cross is pleased to support the network of Alberta food banks that worked tirelessly to help evacuees in their time of need and remain essential to the long-term recovery of communities following this disaster,” said Jenn McManus, vice president for the Canadian Red Cross, Alberta and Northwest Territories.