The Taber Foodbank is competing for $20,000 in funding towards a new vegetable garden and is asking the public for their votes to help achieve this goal. The money is the final prize from WinField United Canada’s “Raise The Barn – Building Community Together” initiative.
Foodbank Manager Naomi Wiebe explains there are two parts to the initiative; the first included the nomination from Taber Home & Farm Centre that resulted in the organization receiving an initial $8,000 prize and the opportunity to win the additional $20,000 in the second round. Until November 15th, residents can go online to the “Raise the Barn” website and vote for the Taber organization. Wiebe says the funding will help the Foodbank move the vegetable garden to its new location by Trout Pond.
“With the new location comes a lot of costs for a new growing season. A variety of things need to be purchased, including seeds, plants, hand tools, equipment, shipping and handling totes, general maintenance, water, electricity, all of that kind of stuff,” says Wiebe. “With [the funding], we can also replace some of our broken sprinkler heads and drip lines. We are hoping to build a new washing station at the garden site for some of the produce that gets delivered to the Foodbank.”
Wiebe adds the land for the new location is being leased from the Town of Taber, and with the location change, the organization will also be taking a more prominent role in the running of the project. Over the past eight seasons, she says the majority of the garden has been run by volunteers, with some summer students and staff helping out with harvest.
“In 2023, the Taber Foodbank received 19,000 pounds of food. We utilized what we could to support the households that are coming to the Foodbank because they are experiencing food insecurity. We also have shared a lot of that food with other organizations in our community, including our local women’s shelter and other foodbanks in local communities.”
In 2023, they sent over 4,000 pounds of corn and other produce to Foodbanks Alberta from the garden, which, in turn, was distributed to member food banks across the province.