Urban Farms and Food Banks

Prairie Urban Farm
Volunteers harvested over 30 lbs of beets, cabbage, lettuce, kale, cucumbers, and zucchini for the Edmonton Food Bank on August 11th, 2015.
We produce a lot of food at Prairie Urban Farm. Most of our food goes home with our volunteers - the people who work so hard to make our project succeed. Core to our philosophies and goals at Prairie Urban Farm is to increase food security: access to nutritious, sufficient, and safe food for all. This includes creating an abundance of fruits and vegetables for those people in our community that are struggling to access nutritious, fresh food.

Volunteers from The Neighbour Centre showing off their harvest of greens, beets, and herbs for their weekly Dinnerclub program.

This year Food Banks across Alberta have been struggling to keep up with demand as the numbers of people across the province needing food hampers has surged. Many people are blaming the recent economic downturn. Our provinces heavily oil-dependent economy tends to go through ups and downs which means that there will be many jobs created all at once, causing new families and young people to re-locate here, followed by many job losses all at once, causing a lot of financial strain to those same people. The increases are consistent across the province:

  • The Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association in Fort McMurray served about 390 people/month in 2014 which has now increased to 690 people/month
  • The Edmonton Food Bank's monthly numbers rose from 14,000 to 17,000
  • The University of Lethbridge has seen a 24% increase in the students served hampers this year
Volunteers at Edmonton's Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS) posing with donated Prairie Urban Farm produce in the fall of 2014

How can Prairie Urban Farm help?
This week volunteers harvested over 30 lbs of salad and stirfry greens (lettuce, chard, kale, mustard), zucchini, cucumber, beets, peas, and cabbage. These raw vegetables were taken to the Edmonton Food Bank warehouse where they will be stored in their coolers until used for hamper production. This will help provide our most food insecure community members with access to more nutritious food on their next trip to our local Food Bank.

Volunteers harvesting greens and veggies for the Edmonton Food Bank.
How can you help?
You can learn more about the Edmonton Food Banks procedure on food donations on their website. If you're donating non-perishable items you can drop them off at City of Edmonton Fire Stations or major grocery stores. Here are some of their most needed non-perishables:
  • beans
  • canned fruit or veg
  • peanut butter
  • mac and cheese dinners
  • pasta and pasta sauce
  • cereal and oatmeal
  • juice boxes and granola bars and other school snacks

The Edmonton Food Bank Warehouse in downtown Edmonton where we dropped off our 30 lbs of fresh produce.

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