FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Food Banks Alberta and City Market have partnered to provide a meal to 170 low-income seniors at Operation Friendship Seniors Society
FEBRUARY 23, 2023 (Edmonton, AB): Today is National Chili Day, and Food Banks Alberta is bringing Alberta seniors Together At The Table for a chili meal. The provincial food bank association aims to highlight the increasing number of seniors relying on the food bank, and to remind those that support from their local food bank is there if they need it.
In Edmonton, Food Banks Alberta is offering a free chili meal to the residents at Pioneer Place, an affordable housing complex in downtown Edmonton operated by Operation Friendship Seniors Society.
- Thursday, February 23, 2023
- 11:00 AM – 1 PM
- 11:30 AM: Chili Meal Service Begins
- Operation Friendship Seniors Society – Pioneer Place
- 10310 93 Street, Edmonton, AB, T5H 1X1
“The answer is simple. Chili has cowboy roots, just like Alberta. It’s a simple, hearty, and soul-filling dish that can be enjoyed after a long day of family-centered activities like skating or snowshoeing. The best part? Chili ingredients are readily available in food bank hampers,” says Arianna Scott, CEO of Food Banks Alberta.
A number of initiatives in this year’s campaign focus on seniors, one of the steadily-growing demographics represented at food banks across the province. According to the 2022 HungerCount report published by Food Banks Canada, over 10.2% of total food banks users receive a pension. This number is five percent higher in rural communities, with pension-earners reflecting 15.2% of total food bank users. Scott says this can be attributed to the rising cost of living across Canada, but shares that members have indicated that many seniors still do not feel as though they are in a situation where they should be asking for help, despite needing it.
“We are hearing from our members that many seniors still see reaching out to the food bank for help as an act of charity – and that there are others that perhaps need it more than them,” says Scott. “They’re a tough generation and many have experienced hardship in their lives. We want to reiterate that our members are here for all Albertans, and that if you are struggling to make ends meet, we are here to help.”
Jimmy Morrison, Community Relations Manager at Operation Friendship Seniors Society, echoes that seniors are often left out in conversations surrounding food insecurity, yet the reality is, many of them go without the basics or are struggling in isolation. He says there are often limited opportunities for seniors to connect with community supports, and this is especially true if they struggle with other challenges, like limited computer access, mobility or high medical needs.
“We are living in hard times – everything is expensive, and seniors are on a limited income. A lot of our seniors are struggling to put food on their tables,” says Morrison, “A sponsored hot meal is a real treat for them, and helps to fill them up, especially on this cold week.”
Scott shares that to close out their week-long Together At The Table campaign that aimed to highlight the important role that food banks play in their communities, it seemed only natural that they recognize National Chili Day in a way that had an impact on those in need. “When we heard that Operation Friendship Seniors Society closed their drop in centre earlier this month, we knew that the closure would have an impact on some of society’s most vulnerable – our seniors. We are happy that with the help of Kevin and Stella at City Market – Brewery District, we are able to provide a hearty meal to over 170 seniors.”
Scott is encouraged by the participation of communities across the province in this year’s Together At The Table campaign. By sharing a meal, she hopes that Albertans continue to be inspired to give what they can for those who are facing challenging times.
“Food banks across the province have received tremendous support over the past few months from Albertans eager to help, and we are so grateful. We know that sharing a meal is a unifying experience – from physical presence, to social engagement and conversation, says Scott. “It is our hope that the Together At The Table campaign and events across the province can bring Albertans together over a savoury bowl of chili, and remember that food banks are here for anyone in need.”
Albertans are encouraged to make a chili dinner tonight to take part in National Chili Day, and to give back to their food banks by purchasing a $10 chili pack for those in need at any Independent Grocer or City Market location in Alberta. To find a location and learn more, visit www.togetheratthetable.ca.
About Food Banks Alberta:
Food Banks Alberta is the provincial association of food banks in Alberta, with a mission to strengthen the impact of the provincial food bank network by creating new opportunities, increasing knowledge, providing resources, and delivering innovative programs. We seed connections for positive social change. We are composed of a strong network of more than 113 member food banks across Alberta.
Food Banks Alberta Media Relations
email@example.com | 780-616-1816
Operation Friendship Seniors Society Community Relations Managerjimmy@ofss.org | 780-408-2958