Already a couple months into 2017 and the Okotoks Food Bank is reporting an increase in clients.

January of this year the food bank saw an increase of 14.5% in clientele compared to January last year.

Sheila Hughes, executive director, says these stats are reflected in their hampers.

"A sobering perspective that we've seen in the two years since the downturn has really taken effect is there's been an increase of 96 % in hampers to the families we service," she says. "We've also had an increase of 29% in the number of new clients we've seen since 2015."

About 90% of the families served by the Okotoks Food Bank live within Okotoks town limits. The next largest population lives in Dewinton, followed by Aldersyde and the outlying Foothills area.

Hughes says some of the stats on their clients housing statuses are quite shocking.

"We do have a small percentage of people that come to the food bank that do have no fixed address so just with the downturn in the economy we do have some people that've had to give up their apartments or give up their homes... so that's a little bit alarming for this day and age."

She says she predicts the food bank will continue to see an increase in clients for at least the first half of 2017, if not the whole year.

Despite the rise in clientele Hughes adds the food bank has been able to keep up with demand thanks to support from the community.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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