Regina Food Bank says 2020 was tough, but some valuable lessons were learned

It’s no secret that 2020 was a difficult year for the Regina Food Bank.

The COVID-19 pandemic took supply and demand for food in the city to a new level, with the organization working tirelessly to fulfill every order.

Food Bank CEO John Bailey says in addition to the negative impact 2020 had on the organization, there were some positives.

“I think 2020 was a year that was about a lot of unprecedented challenges, but also a lot of unprecedented sort of successes, and innovations,” said Bailey. “The spirit of caring in our community that supported us and gave us the resources to make it through was really incredible.”

The Food Bank served 6 percent more people in 2020 with a fraction of the staff, due to COVID-19 protocols.

Bailey says they had to be creative in coming up with ways to raise donations, which eventually spawned the outdoor summer concert series “KrugoFest”.

He adds the public response to both KrugoFest and their Million Meal Challenge was overwhelming.

“That was one of those high points for us as we look back,” said Bailey. “We didn’t see ourselves being in the concert business 12 months ago, and yet, here we are being a key partner in an event that made the national news. The response blew us away to all those events.”

Bailey says he is looking forward to the Food Bank getting out of “covid mode” eventually and is hoping the support from the community continues.

He adds the biggest lesson they learned in 2020 is one of adaptability.

“If 2020 shows anything, it’s that no amount of planning could ever get you 100 percent ready because just when you thought you had things under control, Covid will throw you a curveball,” said Bailey. “I think it’s one of those things where we need to be comfortable taking thoughtful risks, and maybe going a little bit quicker than we’re comfortable with, but when we do good things can happen.”

Bailey says while many people may consider January 1st as the finish line to a horrible year, the work at the Food Bank doesn’t stop.

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