The cost of living has impacted Canadians across the country leading many to choose between an empty stomach or an empty wallet. Locally 200 individuals use the Estevan Salvation Army food bank each month. 

Ronza Reynard, the director of the Estevan Salvation Army food bank, said that there was a 23 to 24-per-cent increase over this time the previous year. 

“We’ve been steadily seeing that increase all year and we expect it to stay the same if not increase.”  

The food bank acts to supplement the public's needs; it is not a replacement for grocery shopping.

It gives access to items that families might need and helps to offset the cost of groceries so the money could go towards other costs such as a bill or rent.  

To utilize the food bank Reynard says it is a simple process, just call in and make an appointment.  

“Don't wait till your cupboards are empty, because sometimes it's a three-or-four-day wait before you can get in." 

To donate to the food bank, you can bring non-perishable food items to the food bank or leave a monetary donation. 

The top items being requested are canned meats, pork and beans, pancake mix and syrup, sidekicks, canned vegetables, and peanut butter.  

“We just ask people to double check your food if you're bringing it in, that it isn't expired because then we can't use it either.” 

With Christmas around the corner, the food bank is in partnership with the Community Hamper Association and will be helping people sign up for their Christmas assistance program.  

You can also help those in need around the southeast through Golden West Radio's Blow Away Hunger food drive this Thursday at Southern Plains Co-op grocery stores in Estevan, Oxbow, and Carlyle.

In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, DiscoverEstevan encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the DiscoverEstevan app.