Food Banks Canada trying to raise $150M to deal with coronavirus impact

Mar 20 2020, 1:06 pm

Canada’s food banks are putting out a call for monetary donations to help them meet people’s needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food Banks Canada expects an uptick in food bank use as more people experience financial hardship due to lack of work amid virus-related closures. At the same time, the national organization is worried about a shortage of food supplies and volunteers as people stay home to practice social distancing.

“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,” Food Banks Canada said in a news release.

The organization’s CEO, Chris Hatch, asked people to donate money so food bank staff and volunteers can re-fill shelves with necessary supplies.

Many food banks are also changing their operations structure to adhere to social distancing guidelines. For example, food banks in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver have started making pre-packed hampers to deliver to clients.

Hatch expects $150 million will cover the cost of logistical changes due to coronavirus and food supply purchases at member food banks.

“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,” he said.