The Director of the North Hastings Community Cupboard says it is getting more and more difficult to provide food to the community.
Monica Piercy says over the last few months they have seen an influx of clients coming to the food bank. Most of these people cannot afford enough to get through a month, if they can afford food at all. On top of that, those who typically use the food bank once a month are now using it twice as often. All of this has put a strain on resources and has challenged the Cupboard’s ability to meet demand.
Piercy points directly to the price of gas and food as the reason for the extra stress on the Community Cupboard. She says the number of people using the food bank has directly correlated with the increase in these prices. The numbers hit their peak in June, and while they dropped off in July, Piercy predicts this is due to more people finding work in the summer months.
The Cupboard is currently accepting any and all money and food donations to help with the growing demand, but putting an exact amount is difficult because the need keeps growing. Piercy says that they are currently receiving some funding under a federal program, but it’s not certain that it will be renewed when it expires in September. She adds governments don’t typically help with food banks, and they get most of their funding from the United Way and donations. She adds that while there will always be a food bank, the main concern is that allotments won’t be enough, and there is a risk that chronic hunger could rear its head in North Hastings.
The Community Cupboard is looking for shelf stock items including pasta and pasta sauce, baked beans, box cereal, crackers and canned meat products. With the summer winding down, Piercy is asking cottagers to donate their non-perishable food items when they pack up for the fall. The Cupboard also is able to accept fresh produce and they will be able to distribute it in their meal program.
Donations of food or money can be dropped off at the Cupboard’s location at 2 Madawaska Street in Bancroft. They also have a Canada Helps portal, which you can find here.