Approximately 120 members from the Regina Saskatchewan Stake filled 2,500 food hampers to support provincial fire relief efforts through the Regina Food Bank, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan and Kitsaki Management Limited Partnership.
Recent fires in the northern two-thirds of Saskatchewan forced the evacuation of many northern communities. More than 13,000 individuals were required to vacate their homes, leaving everything behind. Some were gone as long as six weeks. With the loss of power, most will return to freezers and refrigerators full of spoiled food.
The Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan and Kitsaki Management LP donated sufficient foodstuffs to the Regina Food Bank, the central clearing house for all food banks in the province, to fill 5,000 hampers of food. However, volunteers were needed to assemble the hampers.
With less than 24 hours’ notice, members of three local Church congregations rose to the challenge. The Mormon volunteers of all ages spent a total of 500 person-hours filling boxes. (The Regina Food Bank relaxed age restrictions to allow families to come together to meet the needs of others.)
The Regina Food Bank directors were also surprised and pleased by the efforts of the local Church members. Todd Sandin, director of operations for the food bank, said, “We are completely humbled by the tremendous support we received over the last few days. The task of assembling over 5,000 hampers would have taken us weeks to complete, but it was completed in just under three days.”
The relationship formed between the Church and the Regina Food Bank went well enough that the Church has since been asked to supply volunteers for two other service projects. In addition, Lori Williams, volunteer coordinator for the food bank, has offered to set up family nights to allow families to come and serve together.
The fire relief effort continues with the Regina Saskatchewan Stake working with the Saskatoon Saskatchewan Stake to restock the Prince Albert Food Bank, also drained by the number of evacuees that have needed support.