Regina Meals Financial institution gears up for meals struggle

Regina’s food bank is preparing to collect more than 250 tonnes of food over two days.

The Regina & District Food Bank is taking part in the 25th annual Great Canadian Food Fight, a challenge between it and food banks in Halifax and Victoria to see which community can collect the most food in 48 hours.

The event begins the evening of Thursday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. CST, and runs until Saturday, Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. CST.

CEO Wayne Hellquist says this is an important event because the agency is in dire need of more donations.

“Our shelves are as bare as they’ve ever been and we really do need the support of the community to show that those in need are really important to the community,” he said.

The food bank is in the midst of a legal battle with a tenant that it says has left it in a difficult financial situation.

It is fighting the tenant, a food distribution company called Independent’s Choice Distribution Ltd., for more money to cover power bills.

The food bank is “several hundred thousand dollars in debt” and it has been forced to lay off people.

But Hellquist says he does not think the legal problems will overshadow this year’s drive.

“It’s been a challenging year, but Christmas time and our fall period is a time of hope and optimism for us,” he said. “We really do generate a lot of our food and our finances throughout the course of the next few months.”

Hellquist says all the money donated during the Great Canadian Food Fight will go toward stocking the shelves.

Regina won last year’s challenge by raising 246 tonnes of non-perishable food.

This year the goal is 250 tonnes.

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