Every citizen of the RMWB has access to and utilizes the resources and information necessary for Food Security; including nutritional standards (Canada Food Guide).
The Wood Buffalo Food Bank provides programs and services that provide the resources and education necessary to ensure food security for all citizens in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
The Fort McMurray Food Bank (FMFB) was founded as a registered society in December 22, 1983. The Communications Energy & Paper workers Union (CEP) local was a major contributor to the initial creation of the service, with support from industry and the community. The original location was in Gregoire therefore, accessibility for Food Bank clientele was a major challenge. It also presented challenges for the public profile and presence of an organization that depends for the most part on public donations. In February of 2011 the organization secured larger and more central space at its current location in the downtown core. Facility renovations in 2011 & 2012 were extensive and included the addition of better food storage spaces via walk-in cooler and freezer, mezzanine storage and additional office space. The combined requirements of an increase in need, larger location, etc… put the Food Bank into a critical need for redevelopment and re-visioning. As part of our redevelopment in 2012 we changed our legal name to “The Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association” (WBFB) to reflect our broader regional perspective.
The WBFB acts as a bridge in our community between stakeholders, donors, and clients in addition to providing referral services to other agencies that might better serve the needs of our clientele. This service is offered on Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm by appointment only, unless otherwise arranged in emergent situations. The WBFB treats all clients with respect and dignity, works to empower all our clients to build capacity to be independent of our services. We act as an advocate for our clients with government and non-government agencies to ensure our clients receive all the benefits they can and are entitled to. The Food Bank works in collaboration with other agencies to foster an environment of partnership and sharing.
Up to 2011 the WBFB relied heavily on corporate and private donation. The unpredictability of this form of funding poses challenges in meeting the growing needs of the organization.
The WBFB, held a day-long strategic planning session on Oct. 27, 2012, facilitated by an external individual, and drafted an updated 3 years Strategic Plan.
The WBFB has a full complement of very pro-active Board members; a significant number of this leadership will now be turning over, making good board recruitment and succession mentoring a priority.
The WBFB has a solid team structure, which are qualified and capable of providing high quality service to our community. We have updated our record keeping systems to reflect current needs for planning, accountability, and transparency.
As a result of competent staff, enhanced credibility, and improved stakeholder relationships we have stabilized our cash flow requirements. Additionally new funding sources have been identified and secured to enable increased delivery of programs & services
We continue to provide a core service of monthly food hampers to those meeting qualification criteria. A lot of agency effort goes towards food drives, etc. to maintain sufficient inventory. Service efforts have been increased to include new programs as outlined herein after in this document. After a pilot test, the WBFB hosts the Mobile Pantry Program that delivers to rural communities within the RMWB. The WBFB also hosts two cooking programs, teaching students how to eat, shop, and cook on a budget while focusing on financial stability.These programs are the Slow Cooker Program, and the Basic Shelf & Financial Literacy program.
The WBFB continues to hold memberships in: Alberta Food Bank Network Association, Food Banks Canada, The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce, Non-Profit Sector Link, etc…