“The community has been tremendous,” Communications with the Foodbank Monica Piercy says.

Support from individuals, places like Zehr’s Deli have supported the Foodbank along with No Frills and Foodland who have continued their support. Donations through Canada Helps have also been up. “They’re either making donations or helping us to access wholesale foods now that they’re a little more stable with their own stock,” Piercy says. “The community has been profound in donating their own canned goods, giving us cash donations.”

In March 2019, the Foodbank served 271 people and a total of 3,903 pounds of food. This year, they served 447 people and 6,410 pounds of food.

The federal government recently announced $100 million will be going to Foodbanks across the country. Piercy says they will not directly receive any funds, rather it will come through Foodbanks Canada, Feed Ontario or Community Food Centres Canada. She adds that United Way Canada also got $9 million from the feds. The Foodbank is one of the 35 agencies partnered with United Way Hastings and Prince Edward, including Bancroft Community Transit (BCT) and North Hastings Children’s Services.

Despite the increased demand, Piercy says they have plenty of food. “We’re keeping up really well,” she says. Piercy says the team the Foodbank has now is “full and collaborative.”

The Foodbank expanding partnership with Bancroft Community Transit has been going on for three weeks. “We’ve been able to solidify our working arrangement,” Piercy says. Previously, BCT has helped bring people to the Foodbank and deliver the occasional Good Food Box, but are now helping deliver packages to people who are unable to go to the Foodbank and pick it up themselves.

“My sense is that when this is all said and done our Foodbank is going to come out very strong,” Piercy says.

The Maynooth Foodbank will re-open on Thursday on a partial schedule. “We’re celebrating with them to make sure they have enough stock,” Piercy says.

The Coe Hill Foodbank recently re-opened after closing for a short period due to COVID-19. They will be open on Mondays from Noon until 2 PM outside of the Coe Hill Legion. They will also be out on April 6th and 20th, May 11th and 25th, and June 8th and 22nd between the same times with pre-packaged parcels.

Lake St. Peter’s Foodbank is still closed to the public, but if it’s an emergency you can text 705-875-0826 and someone will be able to help you.

North Hastings Community Cupboard continues to operate with delivery help from BCT. They’re also handing out food and packages through the window on the porch of their office on 2 Madawaska Street.