The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Canadian food banks to get creative in giving out food and collecting donations over the past few months, even despite the ease of restrictions.
Over the past few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much of our everyday lives, how we interact, how we shop, and how we work, but for the local food banks, meal programs and those people who visit them, the pandemic has meant a tremendous shift in not only the need but how those programs are operating.
Coaldale Community Food Bank Society hasn’t seen much of a change in the business compared to other food banks and they’ve done their part by buying local and providing donations to the food bank society in Coaldale.
The society has been around for 27 years and is still helping the needy and providing for the community. Vaughn Caldwell, the food bank coordinator for the Coaldale Community Food Bank Society, confirmed they haven’t seen much change sincethe start of the pandemic.
“We were substantially up on cash donations and food donations even though we were (called) on the community food drive (in) the first part of June. I (had to) cancel that because of COVID. And then, I went to individual churches and told them what our situation was with COVID, and I didn’t feel that we should put our people at risk and all the people that conduct the food drives for us.” Caldwell added “we had left all restrictions in place so people (couldn’t) just come in and wander around, and the front end has outdated canned goods where we put (them) out in front, and we told them to take them at their own risk.”
Some food banks are securing support for additional resources like more food, funds, and volunteers to support the food bank network and assist with continued food assistance in local communities.
Many businesses in Coaldale have supported the local food bank, and even in a pandemic, many companies want to ensure that residents have support.
According to Food Bank Canada, each year in Canada, more than 2.7 million Canadians living with food insecurity don’t know where their next meal is coming from. “We believe that everyone — from a single individual to a large corporation— has the potential to make a difference in their lives. Food Banks Canada offers many different ways to help Canadians in need, whether you want to make a financial donation, give food, organize a fundraiser, or volunteer your time.”
Jaxon McGinn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sunny South News