As crowds will be lining up for the many flavours of the Servus Heritage Festival, it is important to consider those who struggle merely for subsistence.

“The Heritage Festival Food Drive is the single largest food drive for the Food Bank over the course of a year,” said Marjorie Bencz, Executive Director of Edmonton’s Food Bank. “We collect food, unused food tickets, as well as monetary donations down at this event.”

Edmonton’s Food Bank set a challenge to Edmontonians to surpass the Heritage Festival’s 50,000-kilogram goal this year.

Last year, 54,000 kilograms were raised along with about $34,000 in unused food tickets.

“There’s a greater need now, when you had last year 7,000, or 8,000 people on the Food Bank, now we have 15,000, the needs are greater … they need more to support them,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel.

Mayor Mandel pulled out $20 from his pocket while in a jovial and festive mood to encourage any contribution, small or large, to the cause.

The Be Smart Be Safe campaign, created by the Insurance Bureau of Canada to help promote a variety of safety measures in people’s lives, is attending the Heritage Festival and sees the Food Bank as a valuable organization.

“We want to leave something behind so it helps serve the community after. Right now there is just no better group than the food bank,” said Jim Rivait, Vice-President for IBC in Alberta and the North.

The Heritage Festival will be held August 1 to 3.

For more information and to donate, go to www.edmontonfoodbank.com

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