There is an empty storefront at the Parkland Mall. Inside are bare shelves and a couple of empty bins. The hope is that by Sept. 29, the entire space will be full of food to send to the Salvation Army Food Bank.
Kim Spilchen with the Parkland Mall said that the food drive is something they have wanted to do, and they have a space to fill.
“That’s what we want to do, to have 525 sq. ft. full of nonperishable food items for the Salvation Army Food Bank.”
The first donation was from a mall tenant, with Save-On Foods donating a large quantity of canned goods to help get the ball rolling.
Lieutenant Samuel Tim with the Salvation Army said that the food drive comes as the Food Bank has empty shelves. With back to school being a difficult time for some families.
“We had so much need in the summer with kids going back to school, so now our shelves are very bare. With this happening, we are going to be able to restock our shelves for the fall season.”
Tim is grateful to the mall for its backing, and the support of the community as they work to feed people who need it.
“This is the first of its kind, where the mall will have a storefront where people can come in and donate canned food to the food bank. We are very excited for this partnership, not very many communities will support us this way.”
Examples of food they are looking for is canned food, pasta, juice boxes, cereal, rice, ready-to-go meals, canned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter, instant oatmeal and instant formula.
“Food that has a longer life span, which we can put on the shelf and give to people who will probably need to keep it for a while,” said Tim, while emphasizing they will take all kinds of food at the Food Bank, as well as items like sanitary items.
While the food drive is located within the Parkland Mall, the impact will be felt far beyond the walls, and Spilchen hopes that they inspire the entire community to help out.
“We hope the entire community will get involved. Schools, community organizations, businesses around Yorkton.”
In the past year, from September 2018 to August 2019, the Salvation Army Yorkton Lighthouse Food Bank gave out 2,062 hampers providing food, assistance and support to 1,222 individuals, including 378 families and 511 children.
The Food Bank is located at 29 Betts Ave. The hours are Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday noon to 2 p.m. and Thursday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.