News

Food bank shelves running low

By Michael-Allan Marion, Brantford Expositor

The Brantford Food Bank is appealing to the public to help ease a looming shortfall in food and financial donations during the summer months.

“Our monetary donations and supplies of certain food items run short through the summer,” said Heather Vanner, executive director of the Community Resource Service.

“We find that donations drop off during the summer months. It’s not top of mind then. As people go on holidays, go to the beach, host barbecues and relax after the winter months, the food bank is often the last thing on their minds.”

But while public supply of cash and food diminish, the need doesn’t, Vanner added.

“We want to remind people that hunger is a year-round problem,” she said, and it’s more acute in the summer when the kids are at home.

“As a kid, summertime is great. School is over, no more homework, running around with friends and soaking in all the joys that come with summer. However, for many kids, summer also means going hungry. Without regular school meal programs, many children are at risk of going hungry.”

That’s also when many parents bring their children to the food bank, said Vanner.

“It makes us acutely aware of the need, and reminds us that hunger is not a problem isolated to a few months during the winter.”

On average, people use the food bank for a two- to three-day supply of food, one time per month, Vanner said. With lower food donations in the summer months, certain items run into shorter supply as the weeks continue, so the food bank needs people to make food and financial donations throughout the month of August.

The following items are urgently needed:

 Protein items such as peanut butter, canned fish, beans and lentils;

 Cereal or oatmeal;

 Pasta sauce;

 Fresh food items, particularly produce, dairy and meats.

August’s goal is 60,000 pounds of food.

Fresh food donations can be made at the food bank, 106-1100 Clarence St. S., Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Non-perishable food donations can be made at most local grocery stores.

Monetary donations can be made through the food bank website at: www.brantfordfoodbank.ca, or at Community Resource Service, 202-1100 Clarence St. S., Brantford, ON N3S 7N8.

The Brantford Food Bank provided more than 655,000 pounds of non-perishable food, bread, milk and grocery products to individuals in the past year.

The program also provided food support to 28 other local food programs.

MMarion@postmedia.com

@expMarion