MINDEMOYA—The pandemic has accelerated calls for support from food banks across North America, and Manitoulin Island has not escaped the impact.
“We are definitely seeing increased referrals and need at the food bank,” said Manitoulin Family Resources (MFR) executive director Marnie Hall.
This time of the year is often challenging, as the Christmas-inspired opening of pocketbooks and cupboards tends to stem somewhat as January fades into the true depths of winter.
“We are also seeing a large increase in the need for special dietary items, things such as gluten-free products,” said Ms. Hall, who added that the organization continues to gratefully accept both monetary and food bank items.
Those who depend on the food bank to extend the reach of their resources needs do not fade into the night with the light of Rudolph’s nose.
Last year, hunger soared across Canada, according to FoodBanks Canada, which notes that there were 1.3 million food bank visits in 2021—a 20.3 percent surge. In fact, one in eight households had to seek help from a food bank or other community organization to help keep food on the table. As many as 46 percent of Indigenous households experience food insecurity. One in three food bank clients were children.
“We are very grateful to those who continue to support the Help Centre and the Manitoulin Food Bank with their generous donations,” said Ms. Hall. “We could not do this without you.”
Through its food bank and Thrift Store, MFR provides great buys on household items, clothing and other donated items that enable them to raise funds to provide emergency food to struggling families and individuals. This program has contributed emergency food assistance to residents of Manitoulin Island for over 25 years.
Food Bank hours of operation are: Monday, closed; Tuesday, 10 am to 2 pm; closed Wednesday and Thursday; Friday, 10 am to 2 pm; Saturday, Sunday and statuary holidays, closed.
If you are interested in volunteering for the food bank or have a question about the program, you are invited to call (705) 368-3400 ext. 242.
Currently, the Thrift Shop is closed.
Monetary donations can be made online through CanadaHelps.org/en/dn/9789. There are plenty of other ways one can volunteer to help. Check out mfrresources.net/emergency-food-assistance for more information on how you can put your shoulder to the wheel to help a neighbour in need.