COVID-19 expected to create ‘record year’ for food banks in Kingston region

COVID-19 expected to create ‘record year’ for food banks in Kingston region

It may come as a surprise, but demand for Kingston’s foodbank actually dropped during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Right now because of the pandemic, we are trying to keep a three-month supply of our non-perishable foods,” says Dan Irwin, executive director of Kingston’s Partners In Mission Foodbank.

Irwin says despite a Toronto report by the Daily Bread and North York Harvest foodbanks that outlined a dramatic increase in foodbank demand during the early stages of the pandemic in Toronto, the same did not happen in Kingston.

Who’s Hungry 2020 report reveals that prior to COVID-19, food bank use had already increased by 5% compared to the previous year with close to one million visits in the city of Toronto. Daily Bread Foodbank

“When CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit ) came out, it was a real great saviour for us,” says Irwin, “and we actually dropped down to below average for a lot of the summer.

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“And now we have picked back up to our average.”

Watch: Toronto siblings raise $4K for Food Bank Canada with virtual lemonade stand

About 50 to 60 food hampers are picked-up every day at Partners In Mission, and now that CERB has ended, Irwin is expecting greater numbers in 2021.

“Nine to 18-months after the economic event is where we start seeing our higher numbers,” says Irwin, “so that’s 2021 for us.

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“So we are anticipating this will be a bigger year for us.…

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