Temperatures and donations are closely linked for many Canadian food banks, and with springtime bringing an uptick on the thermometer along with an increase in the cost of living this year, more people are having to turn to food banks to help keep themselves and their families fed.
Food Banks Canada is in regular contact with food banks across the country, and while pandemic restrictions may be lifting in parts of Canada, the monthly demand across the network remains high.
In Ontario, the number of people depending on donations from the Barrie Food Bank has reportedly doubled since the beginning of the pandemic, to a total of 1,200 households—including 900 children—monthly. First-time clients are also up 91 per cent over the previous year.
At the same time, food banks across the country are struggling to cope with the rising cost of inflation and supply chain shortages, which is why continued support for food banks is critical for communities in need.
In the words of our CEO Kirstin Beardsley, “As we look forward to warmer days ahead, the reality is that the need for food banks remains high coming out of the winter months, especially given the challenges of the current economic environment.”
To help feed those in need this spring, Loblaw customers are being asked to donate to the Loblaw Spring Food Drive in support of their local food bank. From March 31 to April 14, Canadians can donate non-perishable food items or money at any participating Loblaw grocery store location. Donation bins can be found in store and monetary donations are accepted at checkout. Most importantly, 100 per cent of food and cash donations will be directed to the local food bank.
“At Loblaw, we know that hunger is a serious issue in Canada, and that the pandemic has made it even more difficult for families and our neighbours in every province. That’s why we’re hosting our annual Spring Food Drive to collect food and monetary donations and help local food banks serve their clients across the country,” said Tonya Lagrasta, Senior Director, Sustainability and Social Impact, Loblaw Companies Limited. “Helping to provide relief for those facing food insecurity is important to Loblaw, and we know that it’s important for our employees and customers as well. We have been partners with Food Banks Canada since 2008, and we know that together we are having a real impact on communities across Canada.”
The 2021 Loblaw Spring Food Drive raised over 1.2 million pounds of food valued at over $3.4 million. This year, the goal is to raise $1.3 million dollars and 1.35 million pounds of food in support of food banks in need across Canada.
* Also at Dominion stores in Newfoundland and Labrador.