WINGHAM, ONT. -- The North Huron Community Food Share is bracing for an influx of people needing food as a result of business closures and layoffs related to COVID-19.

On top of their regular weekly service, volunteers with the Wingham-based food bank are adding an emergency food hamper program that people can sign up for.

“People are going to need food on a short term emergency basis, so we’ve created this program to ease the burden on people’s essential costs,” says  Jessica de Waal, intake officer with the North Huron Community Food Share.

Food banks across Ontario are bracing for up to 225,000 more people a month because of the fallout from COVID-19.

At the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto, it has already seeing a marked increase.

“Over the past couple of weeks we have a one-third increase in the number of individuals who have needed our services. 12 per cent in week one, 20 per cent last week,” says Daily Break Food Bank CEO Neil Hetherington.

A lot of those new food bank clients will be first-time users who have never needed to access a food bank before.

“A lot of the people we are trying to help are the same people in our community, that have helped us throughout the years, through food drives and community events. So, this truly is a neighbours helping neighbours situation,” says de Waal, who herself will be left without a pay cheque during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on the North Huron Community Food Share’s COVID-19 emergency food hampers, you can reach them on Facebook.