Food bank successfully helps those in need in Uxbridge

Despite current demand, Uxbridge’s Loaves and Fishes Food Bank appears to be financially stable and able to continue to help this community.

The local food bank recently held its annual general meeting, and revealed that, in 2023, the organization saw a total revenue increase of $67,000 from the previous year, but with inflation, it also faced higher expenses.

Chair of the food bank, Don Mertens, says that “while 2023 total revenue in - creased by 21 per cent, expenses increased by 35 per cent.” He also noted that “any annual surplus is invested to cover future demand, higher food costs, emergencies, and any future investments in facilities.”

Demand for the food bank increased in 2023: the total number of household visits to the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank was 1,810 regular monthly visits, 26 per cent higher than in 2022.

With the rise in the cost of living, the food bank also saw an almost 30 per cent increase in emergency visits - visits when clients require additional assistance, above the standard monthly visit. The food bank saw 158 emergency visits in 2023.

In 2023, St. Andrew’s-Chalmers Church provided Loaves and Fishes with additional space, which facilitated a stock room and “shoppingstyle” distribution method for its clients, which they report has been a great improvement to their functioning.

Heather Stover, food bank community coordinator, mentioned how grateful the food bank is for community support.

“We don’t have to worry about how to support our clients,” she says. “Our community is so generous and we are so fortunate. A lot of food banks aren’t in the position we are in."

Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos