Montreal meals banks feeling the pinch as donations dwindle – Montreal

Bare shelves at Montreal’s On Rock Community food bank have become a growing concern for the non-profit organization since summer set in.

“We’re seeing less cans through the door. We’re seeing less cereal, any of the staples that we have on hand, we’re struggling to get it for everybody,” President Kim Reid said.

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Donations have dwindled of late for the West Island food bank, even as the vast majority of Canadian households, especially those with kids, worry about feeding their families amid soaring inflation.

With inflation reaching a national average of 7.7 per cent and the price of living continue to rise, more and more families are turning to food banks for relief.

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“A lot of people coming though (the food bank) – if it weren’t for inflation and COVID they would never darken the door of a food bank,” Reid said. “They have never envisioned themselves coming and yet they are coming to register because they can’t make ends meet.”

In the last three weeks On Rock has registered nearly a dozen new families who are struggling to put food on the table.

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It’s a similar story at the Sun Youth organization which has seen a 16 per cent increase in working families asking for aid, according to Eric Kingsley, emergency service director.

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“We had clients ask us for money to help pay gas – that’s a request we have never had before,” Kingsley said.

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Kingsley says the same economic factors squeezing Canadian wallets are also hurting non-profit organizations and their ability to help.

“Were being hit with inflation. There have been products that we have been missing but as of yet were OK, but it is always a struggle to get the products we need for a proper food bag,” Kingsley said.

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While confident they will be able to continue to supply families on a weekly basis, both Kingsley and Reed worry the situation will worse. They highlight the essential need for more donations as organizations try to stretch the dollar as far as they can.

“It takes a lot of rain drops to fill a bucket. No matter how small the donation is we will use it and we will add it to the pile of other donations and that’s how we feed our families,” Reid said.

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