Mormons “Just Serve” by Teaming Up With Local Food Banks

Mormons “Just Serve” by Teaming Up With Local Food Banks

News Release

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partnered with local food banks in Calgary, Edmonton and many surrounding communities during Canada’s Hunger Awareness Week, September 18–22, with their annual door-to-door food drive.

Food banks across the country depend on volunteers to make a positive impact on the issue of hunger in Canada, and Mormon volunteers are thrilled to put their faith into action to help their neighbours.

“You can say you have faith and you believe, but it’s when you actually put that faith into action and help your neighbour that you are doing what He would do. We are so thrilled to be out here to do that,” says Chantelle McMullin, Edmonton food drive spokesperson for the Church.   

For many Calgary and surrounding-area Mormons, volunteering for the city-wide food drive has become a family tradition. The Church’s support for the food drive began many years ago when Church member Jeff Jacobs approached the Calgary Food Bank and arranged for his Mormon congregation to team up with the Food Bank on a food drive to serve the community. The food drive was so successful that it became an annual tradition and over time expanded to all Mormon congregations in Calgary and eventually encompassed the entire city.

The Brent and Sarah Bieber family, members of the Wildwood Ward of Calgary, are marking their 11th year of participation. Sarah recalls, “Early on, I remember pushing a stroller or wagon with two or three of our young children in it while I was delivering bags. Now, our family has friends in the community who help us deliver the bags, so this has become a very fun community service project!”

Calgary Alberta Stake member Don Rae, who has been volunteering with the city-wide food drive for the past 12 years, says, “I think it’s such a positive and caring activity which helps and serves others, especially during tougher economic times." Don’s 10-year-old grandson, Anders, who worked shoulder to shoulder with his grandfather at the Calgary Westbrook Mall collection point, said, “It’s fun seeing all the people help out and seeing how kind they are to one another.”

Calgary Food Bank CEO James McAra says, “The city-wide food drive comes at a time when the demand at the Food Bank begins to increase. September can be a financially straining month, from heating bills to back-to-school expenses. For many struggling to put food on the table, these costs can end up being the tipping point where some families find they need emergency food support. The weak economy over the past several years continues to take a toll on Calgarians. The city-wide food drive ensures we have the food that is needed for Calgarians in crisis. No one can be resilient when they are hungry.”

Service opportunities to relieve suffering and enhance the quality of life in the community can be shared at JustServe.org, a website where the volunteer needs of organizations may be posted and volunteers may search for places to serve in the local community.

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