LONDON, ONT. -- It was a case of neighbours helping neighbours as the London Food Bank helped out when its counterpart in St. Thomas began running low due to new demand brought on by the COVID-19 crisis.

It was looking bleak at the St. Thomas and Elgin Food Bank when staff and volunteers realized they didn’t have enough food to help out all their clients.

“With everybody on unemployment worried about shelves that are empty and they’re worried about how they’re going to feed their family,” says spokesperson Sarah Coleman.

In just one week the number of households the food bank helps out went up by nearly 50 per cent, and it’s expected to increase even more.

But greater demand isn’t the only concern. It’s also getting difficult to buy a number of the items they normally purchase with cash donations, as many local grocers are running out of key staples with shoppers stocking up.

“Typically we would go and buy our milk, our eggs, our bread, our pasta, our pasta sauce. We’re not able to find any of that right now. Local stores have been trying really hard, and they’ve broken a few limits for us just to get us what we need, but we can’t get from them if they don’t have it.”

Luckily help was just a phone call away. The London Food Bank heard of its southern neighbour’s shortfall and in no time made a delivery to shore up St. Thomas resources for at least the rest of the week.

London Food Bank spokesperson Jane Roy tells CTV News many local agencies are in dire need right now.

“It doesn’t do us any good if St. Thomas is in need and we’ve got food. And it doesn’t do us any good if we’re in need and we’re not helping each other. So it’s all about the community agencies talking to each other. And that’s been happening, and it’s been great.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to the St. Thomas and Elgin Food Bank can do so at its 803 Talbot St. location at the back door. Check hours at:

You can also make a cash donation at the website or donate food through a local grocery store.