Food bank celebrates

The High Prairie and District Food Bank Society presented plaques to longtime partners for 25 years of support. Left-right, are co-founders Brenda Peterson, first president Doreen Willier [McDermott] and South Peace News accounts manager Cori Burgar, with food bank president Cliff Nafziger.

Organization marks 25 years of operation, service

Richard Froese
South Peace News
The High Prairie and District Food Bank Society celebrated its 25th anniversary at a special banquet July 29.

Volunteers, board members, supporters and community leaders gathered at Peavine Inn and Suites to show their support for the valued service.

The food bank opened July 29, 1992 under the presidency of Doreen McDermott [now Willier]. She is the mother of Kim Dumont, who received a plaque Oct. 25, 2016 in appreciation for 10 years of service as co-ordinator.

“Thanks to the people who have worked hard for the food bank,” Big Lakes County Reeve Ken Matthews said.
“We recognize this is an important and much needed service in the region.”

Words were also expressed by Town of High Prairie Councillor Michael Long, who also served as master of ceremonies and narrated a presentation of the history of the food bank.

“Without the hard work of the food bank and volunteers, it couldn’t happen,” Long said.

Food Banks Alberta executive director Stephanie Walsh-Rigby also gave special thanks.

“It’s been a tough couple of years in Alberta, where people have been struggling and food banks have always been there to help people in need,” said Walsh-Rigby.
“You are celebrating the people who support the food bank to ensure people in the community have food.”

A brief quote of inspiration was stated by current present Cliff Nafziger.

“Giving and serving is the matter of the heart,” Nafziger said.

Food bank co-founders Doreen Willier and Brenda Peterson and South Peace News were all presented plaques for 25 years of dedication and support to the food bank.

More than 1,000 people are fed by the food bank annually, with 50 per cent children, Long stated as he started the history presentation.

“This society depends on you, on all of us.”

He also encouraged people to volunteer for the food bank.

“Your positivity. . .a couple of hours a week will help feed over 1,000 people year,” he said.

He added the support reflects the compassion, values and spirit of the community.

“For 25 years, we have rallied and continued to support this organization because we know it is the right thing to do.
“The food bank has always been on the front lines; on a daily basis, they help our community’s most vulnerable,” he added.

People from every walk of life have used the services of the food bank.

Long acknowledged the many businesses, organizations and events that have supported the food bank over the years.

Former High Prairie and District Food Bank Society directors and co-ordinators met for a photo. Left-right, are current co-ordinator Kim Dumont, former co-ordinator Rhonda Vance, Mike Johnston, James Waikle, Brian Holmberg [seated], Greg Lunde, Doris Caudron, Robert Goulet, Anne Bankey and current president Cliff Nafziger.

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