London Food Bank kicks off annual Spring Food Drive
The London Food Bank has officially kicked off its 35th annual Spring Food Drive, running until April 18.
All donations will go towards helping Londoners and Ukrainian refugees, with a theme of coming together.
“I think people thought that once the pandemic started to slow down that we would be okay, that things would start to get back to normal,” said co-director of the London Food Bank, Glen Pearson.
“A little over 25 per cent of the people that are coming to the food bank right now are new.”
Between the struggle due to the pandemic and everything that is happening in Ukraine, Pearson said it’s time to come together as a community, just like London has always done.
“We help 3,600 families a month — that’s 9,000 individuals a month we help just from here. So that’s a lot. Give what you can, but this is an unknown time. The one thing we know and that we have always known is that Londoners will be there and we just want to thank them for being that way.”
Donations can be brought to the food bank itself, one of the boxes at local grocery stores, or money can be donated online. In recent years, they have moved to a more virtual approach, starting a partnership with rTraction to increase donations and online presence.
“Looking at the crisis of what’s happening overseas, sometimes it’s really difficult to know what you can do as a person,” said David Billson, CEO and co-founder of rTraction.
“It’s a small way that our organization can step up and help support people and as the City of London, we have an opportunity to show our support for people who are coming to our country.”
The London Food Bank isn’t picky of what’s donated, but they are always in need of baby formula,
diapers, and feminine hygiene products. They also accept fresh produce, but it must be brought directly to the London Food Bank for freshness.
“There’s so much fresh food. Fifty-four per cent of the food we give out is all fresh,” said Pearson.
“We really appreciate fresh stuff, but the non-perishables as well. For a lot of mothers, things like formula, Pampers, things that aren’t traditional food items but they’re really necessary. It’s what you normally would think of, we don’t tend to run out of stuff, but there’s times when it gets a little bit lean.”
Pearson also would like the community to come together and help Ukrainian refugees have an easier time adjusting to their new surroundings.
“We have three kids that are refugees. It took them years to get over what it was that they experienced having to go someplace else. It was hard, it was hard for us, it was especially hard for them. And now we’ve got these families that are coming here that lost everything,” Pearson said.
“We have to be there for them. This isn’t just about the food bank. This is about these people who need to know that Canadians are just as generous that they’ve always heard we were.”
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