LONDON, ONT. -- Organizers of this year’s Business Cares Food Drive said they had no idea what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised when all was said and done.

“That’s outstanding,” was a phrase campaign chair Wayne Dunn used repeatedly while hosting Tuesday’s campaign wrap, which was live via Zoom to business and community leaders.

The campaign had asked for financial donations instead of food donations due to the pandemic, although one grocery store weekend was held earlier this month with 25 London grocery stores taking part.

While there’s no tally as of yet, organizers estimate 20 per cent of the donations are food, while the remaining 80 per cent is monetary.

“It goes right to my heart,” said Dunn, who acknowledged that many local businesses gave in spite of their own struggles.

“There’s sectors of the community we didn’t even approach because we knew how tough a time they were having. There are those businesses that have done well, and that’s what you’re seeing a lot in here. And I think we really need to extend it to just the citizens of London really came together.”

Currently, the London Food Bank is feeding between 180 and 190 families per month. Overall, demand increases by about ten per cent per month, according to food bank co-director Jane Roy. She also said the organization helps 25 local agencies.

“So that’s everything from the army (Salvation Army), to Mission Services, to homeless shelters, to meal programs, to resource centres. And we’re going to make sure the food gets all across the city because the folks that need it are all across the city.”