Charity bolstered by hot energy sector
Food bank seeing increased donations as oil and gas economy rebounds
Posted: May 25, 2012 8:02 AM MT
Last Updated: May 25, 2012 7:59 AM MT
A rebound in the oil and gas economy seems to have Calgary companies in a more giving mood, says a local charity.The Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank reports that donations are up in step with the city's bustling oil and gas sector, but so is demand. (CBC)
The manager of the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank says things are looking up for the first time in several years.
"We're certainly seeing an increase in financial donations, which is something we absolutely need,” said D.D Coutts, adding that the upswing is being led by the business community.
"So everything from a local tire shop to the large corporation, the large multi-nationals even," he said.
Calgarians are also being generous with their time, Coutts said, noting that the food bank relies on about 4,500 volunteers to keep it operating.
"Without them we could not function. It would cost an awful lot more to run this organization,” she said.
Keith Luft, a senior vice president at Penn West Exploration, said he's not surprised to see companies in Calgary giving more.
"That's one of the great things about this province ... and often misunderstood is the effect that the industry has. Not only its capital ... but in its community investment."
Demand also on rise
The economic turnaround also brings challenges, Coutts said.
While donations are increasing in step with the recovery, the number of people in need is also on the rise again.
"Because people will move to Calgary, often times they won't do their research. They will come a little unprepared because they don't understand it's going to take a lot longer to get a job. So they will run out of funds, they will run out of food,” Coutts said.
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