The bankers are back
Yellownkife Food Bank Society open again

Karen McOuat
Northern News Services

NNSL (Sep 16/98) - "Hello there missus! How are you doing?" Paula Parrell greets a visitor to the Yellowknife Food Bank.

The non-profit society reopened its doors on Saturday, after being closed all summer due to a lack of volunteers.

"It's been a slow first day," says Parrell, co-chair of the Yk Food Bank Society. "Usually they're waiting at the door when we get here."

The lull is only temporary, and soon Parrell and volunteer Trixie Williams are busy handing out the 13-item food packages. Each portion lasts approximately two days, enough to get a person over the hump.

"We're not here to give people a week's worth of groceries," explains Food Bank chair Pat Rapley. "We're here for emergencies."

The food bank operates every second Saturday, from 1:30 to 3:30. There are no rules dictating who qualifies for food and who doesn't. They do ask for each visitor's name, and how many are in their family.

Completely volunteer-run, the organization relies on donations to keep going. In addition to the usual food and financial contributions, there is a new request.

"Plastic bags!" says Williams, as they are needed to make up their food packages. "We sometimes buy them from the grocery stores, but we still keep running out."

The group has been a part of city life in different capacities. This summer, it supported the Con Mine strikers with a donation of coffee, milk and snacks.

A good old-fashioned bingo is always a big fund-raiser. The next two Food Bank-sponsored events are scheduled for Oct. 17 and Dec. 11.

Located at 4917 Matonabbee Street -- behind Calvary Community Church -- the Food Bank is open again Sept. 26, from 1:30 - 3:30.

Donations of grocery bags and non-perishable food items can be dropped off in the food boxes around town.

New blood will also be appreciated. The next meeting of the Yk Food Bank Society will take place Oct. 27 at 8 p.m., in the Storefront boardroom in the Roman Empire building.