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Local recognized for her dedicated volunteerism

The organizers of the fundraiser for the Yellowhead Emergency Shelter for Women (YES) David McKnight (left), Saša Jurko and Rob Gray, with Keith Houston on the drums, closing out the event on Aug. 18. | J.Stockfish photo

Jason Stockfish |

Jasper local Melody Gaboury was presented with the Queen’s Jubilee pin by Yellowhead MP Gerald Soroka on Aug. 16.

Gaboury was given the pin in recognition of her significant volunteer efforts in creating and tirelessly working to operate the Jasper Food Recovery program at the Jasper Anglican Church, located at the corner of Geikie Street and Miette Avenue.

The program looks to gather unused food that is destined for the dumpster, not because it is unusable, but because there is an abundance of it and it is nearing its best before date.

Volunteers pick up food from local grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores and other businesses in Jasper and Hinton on a weekly basis and drop it off at the church to be picked up by those looking to use the food rather than letting it go to waste.

Gaboury was humble and grateful in accepting the recognition, ensuring that others involved shared in the moment.

“I’m honoured to receive this award,” she said in a statement.

“I’d like to thank Andreas Sigrist, our pastor and the Anglican Church, for allowing me to start this wonderful program. As soon as I mentioned the idea to Andreas, he was on board and got permission from the board to host the program.

“A HUGE thanks to all my amazing volunteers who help me run the program, I couldn’t do it without you all. I wished that you could each receive the Jubilee pin because I feel you deserve it too!

“Thank you to all the donors, we still look at the food and feel amazed that prior to this program that food would have been thrown out.

“I am so happy to save good food from being wasted and help so many people in our community at the same time (and) I’m so happy to have the municipality now hosting our community fridge.

“Lastly, thank you to everyone in the community who believes in the program. You are helping end food waste and that was our goal!

“My intention is still to help other communities start up their own food recovery programs as I would love to see all food grown be consumed rather than wasted, so if you are reading this from another community, please don’t hesitate to reach out!”

Food can be picked at the Anglican Church on Friday and Sunday evenings from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and a community fridge with donated food is located in the Jasper Activity Centre.

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