FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Despite the hardships faced in 2021, the Fort St. John Salvation Army raised $279,320 from general donations.

The executive director of the organization, Jared Braun, says the funds are an incredible gift, especially at a time when the demand for services continues to increase.

“Even the amount of people that are accessing the food bank continues to go up. We see the pressure that people are facing with rising inflation,” Braun said.

Braun says the organization anticipates that residents will continue to feel economic pressure due to inflation but that the financial support makes them feel optimistic about the future in what they will be able to do to help.

He adds that the funding also allows the organization to employ staff and operate its facilities, including the food bank.

“It’s exciting on the front end to be able to see food go out the door in people’s hands that are gonna feed the hungry, but it takes a lot to get it to that point,” Braun stated.

“Having a big walk-in cooler, walk-in freezer, and multiple freezers to contain all the food we have, operating our vehicles, electricity bills, fuel bills, everything adds up,” Braun said.

Spencer Hall is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca and a recent graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Radio Arts & Entertainment program. Growing up in Northwest B.C. made Spencer aware of the importance of local journalism, independent media, and reconciliation. In his spare time, you can find Spencer reading, playing video games, or at the FSJ dog park with his dog, Teddy.