Food banks expect spike in demand post-Dorian

Food banks and soup kitchens across Nova Scotia are expecting an increase in demand because of the power outages caused by Hurricane Dorian.

The chair of Queen's County Food Bank said people need to replace what they have had to throw away.

"We're already getting calls from clients who lost food," said Charlotte White.

It's a similar situation at the Open Arms Society in Kentville, where there has been an increase in calls from people who have lost everything in their fridges and freezers.

The general manager of the Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank in Halifax said only a third of the people who usually show up were there on Monday. But Ray Locksdale attributes that to the continued lack of power.

"They've had no way to store it [food] and no way to cook it," said Locksdale. "I'm sure we'll see an upturn in the next few days."

The executive director at Halifax's Brunswick Street Mission agrees. It has a food bank and a hot breakfast program. Sandra Nicholas said Dorian will have a profound impact on those who already have very little.

"It's a rule of thumb that the less income you have, the less room you have to recover from anything that goes wrong," said Nicholas. "Even if you only lost two meals out of your fridge, if those are your only two this week, it can be devastating."

Nicholas expects to hear from people who regularly come as well as from people who don't normally have to rely on a food bank.

Overnight shelters

The Red Cross said 148 people who were displaced by the storm and needed a place to stay went to temporary overnight shelters the organization set up in Halifax, Dartmouth and St. Margarets Bay.

"We're lucky that the storm happened when it did and the temperatures stayed pretty warm," said Ancel Langille, senior manager for emergency management programs with the Red Cross.

Another overnight shelter was opened later on Saturday in Kentville because of flooding, but Langille said no one stayed overnight.

The shelters in Dartmouth and St. Margarets Bay closed Sunday evening, while the one at the Canada Games Centre closed Tuesday.

"We have one beneficiary left and we're working with him to find accommodations," said Langille.

He said if anything changes and people need places to stay overnight, they will reopen shelters.