Food bank expecting busy 2021 as demand rises, food drive will continue without volunteers

The Wood Buffalo Food Bank has been adding 50 new households to its client list every month since the spring, and the organization’s leadership is preparing for that trend to continue into the new year.

WBFB executive director Dan Edwards said the food bank was already dealing with a steady increase in demand when global oil prices crashed earlier this year. When COVID-19 restrictions began in March and the lower townsite flooded in April, the situation worsened.

Edwards is expecting this trend to continue into 2021, especially since January and February are considered a busy season. March is typically an average month, but Edwards believes next year will be different when people have to pay taxes.

He fears many people who relied on the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) this past spring and summer will be unable to pay the taxes on that income.

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