£550,000 raised for 23rd Enterprise Cares Meals Drive, organizers say – London

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Despite the economic pressures heading into the holiday season, residents and businesses in London have been in the spirit of donations this month to support the London Food Bank and the growing number of people using its services.

Wednesday marked the final day of the 23rd annual Business Cares Food Drive, which began earlier in the month with no specific collection goal.

On Wednesday afternoon, campaign organizers announced that a total of £550,650 in food and related cash donations was raised during the campaign.

The balance sheet is down from last year’s £588,000 but still significant given the impact of higher inflation.

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Speaking to Global News earlier Wednesday, campaign manager Wayne Dunn said food intake for this year’s campaign will be about the same as 2021.

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“It was so heartwarming to see the groups and people,” Dunn said.

“Last night as I was closing at 5:30pm I had a lady walk in who told a story about a small company with a few people who had used the board over the past few years… and put together a little donation bag from a few people she knew to bring it to us,” he said.

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“We need a lot of big corporate checks, but it’s the little stories you care about that make a difference and it’s the community that counts. … It comes down to our volunteer network, our committee structure, which is just fabulous, just people who care.”

The food and money raised will be used to support the London Food Bank and the more than 30 other local agencies and programs that the Food Bank serves in Greater London.

London Food Bank officials have reported record demand for services for the agency, with around 4,000 families per month, 11,000 individuals turning to the food bank for help, a 32 per cent increase compared to the same time last year .

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This comes as inflation has put increasing pressure on people’s wallets, with food costs rising faster than headline inflation for the past 12 straight months.

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Figures released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday show that food inflation rose again in Canada in November, with the price of groceries bought in stores rising 11.4 percent year-on-year from an 11-year rise percent in October.

Coffee and tea prices rose 16.8 percent in November, while items such as cooking fats and oils were up 26 percent, eggs were up 16.7 percent and bread, rolls and buns were up 18.2 percent.

The country’s annual inflation rate eased slightly to 6.8 percent in November, bringing little relief to those facing rapidly rising food and shelter costs, the agency said.

For more information on supporting the London Food Bank, visit the agency’s website.

– with files from Andrew Graham of Global News; The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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