Jane Roy at the London Food Bank. (MORRIS LAMONT, The London Free Press)

Food drive tracking higher, as demand rises

The London Food Bank’s spring food drive is poised for a strong finish, co-director Jane Roy said Monday.

As of Monday at 2 p.m., Londoners had donated 26,147 kilograms of food, compared to 25,049 kilos at this point in last year’s drive.

“It was a good drive,” Roy said. “It’s up from where it was last year, though (Monday’s) the last day.”

This year, the Easter-themed campaign kicked off on April 8.

However, the counting will continue until a final number is tabulated Wednesday. Those extra two days allow agencies, such as churches, that held their own food drives over the Easter long weekend enough time to bring donations to the food bank.

There also is food still to be picked up at grocery stores and fire halls today and Wednesday.

Roy said her organization helps about 3,500 families a month. That’s an increase of roughly 100 families during the first three months in 2016. “That’s like a school,” Roy said by way of comparison.

“It started to go back up again last year,” she said of food bank use.

The London Food Bank has been in business for 30 years, although it was originally established as a temporary stopgap measure to help needy local families through a brutal recession.

Roy says every donation is significant. “It means more than a number,” she said, adding every can of soup or box of Kraft Dinner represents a Londoner who has given food, volunteered to help, or sought the aid of the food bank.

The items donated have changed with the times. Londoners give much more in the way of gluten-free items and lactose-free food now, Roy said. “It gives us flexibility” to serve Forest City residents who are vegetarian, vegan, or who have dietary and religious restrictions.

She chalks that variety up to a growing knowledge about food in general.

“I think we’re so much more aware,” she said. “I think that’s a good thing.”

But one thing has remained consistent: the big hearts of Londoners.

“I’m continually amazed just by people’s generosity,” Roy said.


Source: Food drive tracking higher, as demand rises | The London Free Press