TORONTO, March 18, 2020 /CNW/ – As concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic grow, Food Banks Canada is worried about the shortage of food supplies and loss of volunteers they desperately rely on due to adherence to social distancing guidelines. Many food banks across the network have food in stock to cover just 10 to 14 days for existing food bank clients, let alone the anticipated rise in demand that will result from the economic impact of coronavirus.
That is why Food Banks Canada is urging Canadians to make monetary donations at foodbankscanada.ca, with the goal of raising $150 million in donations. According to HungerCount 2019, an annual report released by Food Banks Canada that analyzes data from 4,934 food banks across Canada, Canadians already make more than one million visits to food banks every month. By raising $150M in donations, Food Banks Canada will be able to provide local food banks with the resourcing needed to adapt their client delivery processes, manage demand with a decrease in volunteer resources, purchase much needed staples and help clients in quarantine situations by providing essential food supports to them in home.
Food Banks Canada CEO Chris Hatch is urging people to make a financial contribution if they can to help restore the food supply. “I’m asking all Canadians to donate to food banks. It is vital to the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people who depend on them.”
Hatch continues, “While the public is being advised to buy two weeks worth of supplies to keep at home in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, for vulnerable Canadians who rely on our services each and every month that’s just not financially possible. If frenzied stockpiling is what we’re seeing now during this period of uncertainty, then what happens should a recession hit? It would spell disaster for potentially millions of Canadians.”
Some food banks reconfiguring and creating new delivery systems that adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Locations like the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto, The Greater Vancouver Food Bank and the Calgary Food Bank have radically shifted their delivery systems so clients have minimal to no contact with volunteers in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. This includes shifting to pre-packaged hampers rather than allowing clients to select what they need, offering curbside delivery where the packages are placed directly into your trunk and using conveyor belts to deliver the food from within the food bank or truck.
Actors Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds announce $1M donation to be split between Feeding America and Food Banks Canada.
Thankful for this celebrity support inspiring others to donate, Food Banks Canada will immediately implement their portion of the $1M donation, putting it towards securing and distributing food for local food banks and sharing funds to help stabilize their operations.
About the HungerCount Survey
HungerCount was initiated in 1989, and is the only annual national research study of food banks and other food programs in Canada. Since 1997, data for the study has been collected every March. The information provided by the report is invaluable, forming the basis of many Food Banks Canada activities throughout the year. hungercount.foodbankscanada.ca. #HungerCount