The Lethbridge Soup Kitchen is a lifesaver for those who are facing financial hardships, are homeless or at risk of losing their home.
According to executive director Bill Ginther, the organization serves three meals a day for the homeless population and he says there are many difficult situations people share when they come to the soup kitchen.
“There’s quite a few people who have to choose between food and meds, which is really, really sad,” he said. “Last winter, we set a record of 209 people for one meal.
“We haven’t got there yet, but we’re getting closer. We expect that to be the case and so we are seeing an increase in demand, and we’re more than happy to provide it.”
And at the University of Lethbridge, the “Buy A Student A Breakfast” campaign is underway.
A $6 donation will help buy breakfast for one U of L student. Kathleen Massey, vice provost of students, said last year the initiative helped hand out 1,000 free meals.
“And it’s really easy to forget to eat, to feed your brain, to take a break and have a meal. This helps them know that we’re with them, we’re behind them, we’re supporting them. And I think that’s really encouraging for them to know that the community is really rooting for their success,” Massey said.
Meanwhile, the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta has dished out over $1.5 million in grants to local charities this year alone.
“It doesn’t have to be a certain day to give back to the community,” said executive director Charleen Davidson. “Whenever someone’s in a position to give back to the community, please do so because it just makes our community a better place for all of us.”
During the last few years, the Lethbridge Shoebox Project has been giving shoeboxes to women who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
In the past, the boxes filled with hygiene products have been given out to the YWCA and Streets Alive Mission to distribute out.
Local coordinator for the organization, Helen Thompson, said they would like to expand to different towns, but right now the demand for shoeboxes in Lethbridge is through the roof.
“My goal right now is to service Lethbridge. We would like to reach out to Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek, all the areas around it where there are women’s shelters set up for them.”
According to Giving Tuesday, the initiative generated 47 local community movements across Canada and over $50 million was donated last year.
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