A Toronto food bank is in desperate need of donations as demand rises

Apr 25 2022, 4:21 pm

Fort York Food Bank is facing an emergency shortage ahead of opening its doors to the public on Tuesday.

The food bank is out of many basic items like pasta and pasta sauce, tuna, canned vegetables and beans, and they are asking people to help out by donating these items.

Fort York Food Bank will open its doors to allow the public to grab items on Tuesday. It will be the first time since the pandemic started that people who use the food bank have been able to make their own selections. Pandemic protocols meant that volunteers would give out pre-prepared boxes outside.

The shortage is due to increased demand and bad timing. A delivery that will help restock some items isn’t expected to arrive until mid-day on Tuesday, hours after they open to the public.

“It’s a 24-hour shortage right now,” Julie LeJeune, executive director at Fort York Food Bank, told Daily Hive.

Saturday was their busiest day of the week, helping out more than 400 people, and it depleted some of their supplies. Now, they’re anticipating opening on Tuesday morning with empty shelves unless they can get some more donations in before their delivery shows up.

“We open at 9 am tomorrow, and I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m not going to have anything on my shelves,'” said LeJeune.

She added that the community is always supportive and hopes that donations will come in. Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton, who tweeted about the shortage, dropped off some donations of his own.

Even more donations have been coming in throughout the morning to help get the food bank ready for Tuesday.

“The community always comes out so much and supports us. We really, really are thankful,” said LeJeune.

Despite the expected delivery on Tuesday, she said that the food bank is chronically facing shortages of some items. The food bank is in regular need of pasta, rice and canned tuna.

“We’re finally opening up and welcoming the clients back inside so they can choose and have agency back and choice in their life,” LeJeune added.

Fort York Food Bank will accept donations on Monday until 3:30 pm and after 8 am on Tuesday. If you’re unable to help out with food donations, you can also make a financial contribution on their website.

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