Torontonians are urged to continue their generous holiday giving to help stock the shelves for winter for the more than 1 million visits to Greater Toronto food banks.
Daily Bread Food Bank needs 500,000 more pounds of food, or an additional $200,000 to purchase food, to reach its holiday drive goal of 1,000,000 pounds of food. More donations are needed to stock shelves through to spring.
Those visits reflect an 18 per cent increase since pre-recession 2008, the food bank’s Who’s Hungry 2012 report indicates. Some 32 per cent of food bank clients are children. The same percentage of adults have given up food in order to pay rent, the report indicates.
An original financial goal to raise $1.5 million could rise to $1.7 million due to the food donation shortfall, officials said. Daily Bread does not receive United Way funding.
“We’re also looking to raise $1.5 million and we’re now at just over a million dollars. What has me the most concerned is how behind in food donations we are. They’re trickling in, but we need a lot more to make sure our shelves are full this winter,” Gail Nyberg, Daily Bread executive director said in a statement just before Christmas.
Financial donations can be made online at dailybread.ca or by calling 416-203-0050. Food donations can be dropped off at any fire hall, Loblaws, No Frills or Valu-mart. Most needed items include baby food and formula, peanut butter, canned fruit, powdered or canned milk, rice, lentils, vegetables, canned fish or meat.
Nearly 600 volunteers sorted donated food at Daily Bread’s New Toronto Street south Etobicoke warehouse on Boxing Day and Dec. 27.
Daily Bread serves people who rely on food banks through 170 member agencies’ neighbourhood food banks and meal programs.