Charlottetown food bank setting 'records that we don't want to set'

·1 min read
Nobody wants to ask for help from a food bank, says Mike MacDonald, but more Islanders are being forced to. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)
Nobody wants to ask for help from a food bank, says Mike MacDonald, but more Islanders are being forced to. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)

Charlottetown's Upper Room Food Bank saw its busiest months ever in June and July, a time of year when traffic is usually down.

"We're setting the kind of records that we don't want to set," said executive director Mike MacDonald.

The food bank served 815 households in June, representing 2,265 individuals. In July it served 801 families, 2,181 people. The July numbers represent a 50 per cent increase in the number of people served in 2021.

The food bank is hearing people are having trouble keeping up with inflation, MacDonald said. The problem is particularly acute for people on fixed incomes, and especially seniors.

"Over the last year, and probably even more so over the last three to four months, we've definitely seen more and more seniors," he said.

"The thing that we continually hear is that their pensions, their money coming in, just isn't going as far as it used to."

Nobody wants to be asking for help from a food bank, said MacDonald, and that may be especially true for seniors, who after decades of contributing to society did not expect to find themselves in that position.

In terms of donations, he said the food bank is particularly looking for non-perishable items at this time: canned meat, canned vegetables or fruit, soups, and beans.