Skip to main content

'It’s scary to go grocery shopping': In-house food bank hopes to shore up donations as prices rise

With the dramatic rise in the cost of food, a grass-roots food bank at a London community housing apartment building is hoping to shore up support heading into the colder months.

“We have between 80 and 90 people now every month, which is a lot of people,” said Fran Wassmer of The Caring Cupboard. “It takes a lot of food to cover them, and I hate to see seniors go without food.”

The in-house food bank operates out of 30 Baseline Rd West and is run by a group of tenants. It serves just the tenants in the building — most of whom are seniors living on fixed incomes, Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Payments.

One of the coordinators, Mary Blancher, said they estimate that by this winter their list of tenants asking for help will have increased by 50 per cent since the start of the pandemic.

“We have some fantastic donors that are really generous to us, but it’s not going to be enough moving forward,” said Blancher. “The wintertime, we have people with disabilities, they’re not going to be able to get out as much to the stores. So we figure that our numbers are going to increase probably about ten per cent or more.”

Volunteer Margaret Robertson, a client herself, said she wouldn’t be able to get through the month without the help.

“Well it’s scary to go grocery shopping because everything has gone up, yeah. And nobody makes you feel like you’re a less person because you’re coming in and getting things here,” said Robertson.

The Caring Cupboard opens doors on the third Wednesday of every month. The timing is no accident, because it’s around the third week of the month that organizers say many people living on government assistance run out of money and run out of food.

Wassmer said she believes that by operating an in-house service they are also taking a small amount of pressure off of the London Food Bank.

“Trying to do the best we can to help everybody have food.”

Anyone wishing to donate to The Caring Cupboard can drop off donations to 30 Baseline Rd. West on Fridays between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. or call Fran Wassmer at 519-777-4808. Top Stories

Stay Connected