Community coming through for food bank during busiest time
WINGHAM, ONT. -- The need for food at the North Huron Community Food Share has never been greater.
"We just had a record month in October. We serviced 150 families. Prior to that, a big month would have been 130 families. That’s a big increase in a short time," says Roxane Nicholson, from the North Huron Community Food Share.
At this time of the year, the North Huron Community Food Share would be well into its largest fundraiser, which usually involves a local radio DJ sleeping in this trailer in a Wingham grocery store parking lot. That’s not happening this year, due to COVID-19, but the community is coming through, delivering and donating food, as socially distanced as possible.
"This helps sustain us for quite a few months, so it was important to still do it, it was important to do it safely because of COVID-19," says Nicholson.
North Huron isn’t alone. Food banks across Ontario are having to adapt their Christmas food drives, amidst rising demand. A recent report showed that food bank use is up 26% between March and September, which is on top of the sustained demand still lingering from the 2010 recession.
"It’s never gone back down, so we’re still carrying the need from 10 years ago, so unfortunately we believe the worst is yet to come," says Carolyn Stewart, from Feed Ontario.
In North Huron’s case, their annual relief truck food drive wraps up on Monday. The response from the community so far, suggests they’ll be in good shape for the months to come. Thanks, to the generosity of school drives, like the one at Sacred Heart in Wingham.
"We’ve got other schools in our region doing similar drives for similar organizations. We’re just happy to help," says Sacred Heart principal, Dan Bodkin.