I recently had the opportunity to chat with Suzan Krescy, Executive Director of the St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village. I have had the privilege of knowing Suzan for several years. Her kindness and passion for her work is evident: anyone who has met Suzan likely knows first-hand, her love for the community and the people who walk through the doors of the Food Bank.
The St. Albert Food Bank has seen a substantial increase in need since the pandemic started. They have experienced an especially alarming surge since last October when Covid funding stopped. This, coupled with the economy fluctuating, made for a perfect storm and they have since seen an influx of families requiring their services.
Suzan shared that the St. Albert Food Bank has at least 100 more families come through their doors every month compared to this time last year. In February, the St. Albert Food bank distributed 435 food hampers, compared to 320 hampers at the same time last year.
They continue to see the demand grow, especially the need for formula.
If you have children, you understand just how difficult it is to hear your baby cry. Now imagine your baby is crying because they are hungry. Trust us, there is not a worse sound. It is heartbreaking to imagine our most innocent and vulnerable going without.
With the challenges of dealing with formula supply chain issues, many families, and mothers especially, are panicking as they can’t get formula to feed their babies. Suzan stated how many new moms are fearful to change formulas and there is an added stress when they can’t find what their baby is used to. The St. Albert Food Bank has a fantastic relationship with the Sturgeon Hospital, who make many referrals to help new parents get set up with their baby. The St. Albert Food Bank will supply a baby layette to start off, as well as formula and diapers.
Some people may not be aware that the St. Albert Food Bank offers an infant formula service, where new parents can pick up diapers and formula once a week for up to a year. After the year, they are still able to get these items monthly with their food hamper.
The St. Albert Food Bank works tirelessly to ensure formula that are specific to babies who have allergies, for example, are provided to families. If they don’t have what the baby needs on hand, they will provide gift cards so that they are able to go out and purchase the formula.
Depending on the month, Suzan estimates that approximately ¼ of the families they serve are coming in for formula (which is about 100 families).
“We need infant formula on a regular basis!”
It can be challenging to reach out and ask for help, especially when it comes to not being able to feed children. There is extreme shame and guilt that families face when they aren’t able, with no fault of their own, to provide necessities for their baby. This is why providing formula to those who need it, is so important.
Suzan knows that the community of St. Albert continues to rise to the asks of the St. Albert Food Bank, “The community is always so incredible and responsive to our needs. They respond in such a kind and thoughtful way, and we are grateful to have the support of so many.” Suzan is also careful about asking for too much, “We don’t ask unless we are really in need, and we absolutely need infant formula.”
Digital Link is proud to host a formula fundraiser in support of the St. Albert Food Bank from now until April 30, 2023. The Food Bank will gladly accept any, and all, types of unopened formula.
We are happy to accept food items as well, but we are focusing on formula. If you would prefer a monetary donation, please visit their website.
Let’s fill the St. Albert Food Bank’s shelves with formula so no baby goes hungry!
Here is a list of businesses where you can drop off formula:
- Digital Link
- St. Albert Food Bank
- Caruana Interiors and Contracting
- Pearson’s Your Independent Grocer
- Ron Hodgson
We want to say a huge thank you to Suzan and her team for the incredible work that they do for the community of St. Albert, and thank you to everyone in advance for your support in our formula fundraiser.