Billy Expertise groups up with the London Meals Financial institution in Budweiser Gardens

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Jess Gould / XFM News

Billy Talent’s latest tour has teamed up with the London Food Bank to raise funds.

In an online statement, Billy Talent addressed the issue of food insecurity caused by the pandemic: “We want to do something to address this, so we will be working with a local food bank in each of the upcoming tour’s cities to collect food for them to distribute to those who need it most.”

Fans participating in the tour of Canada are encouraged to continue to bring show non-perishable items to designated drop-off points at the venue. London is the final stop on the eastern leg of Billy Talent’s Canadian tour, kicking off their western leg on April 29 in Winnipeg.

Jane Roy, Co-Executive Director of London Food Bank, was delighted to be approached by the musicians. One can of tuna makes a difference. The one box of cereal or the one person who hears the message and lets it come from such a group. It’s a wonderful thing because it’s just this constant message that we need to take care of each other, we really appreciate being a part of that.”

London Food Bank volunteers are ready to donate in partnership with Billy Talent at Budweiser Gardens. CREDIT: @BillyTalentBand on Twitter

When the pandemic started in March 2020, the number of people initially coming to the London Food Bank skyrocketed in the first few weeks of the first month. After those first few weeks, government programs were put in place to help, and the number of people coming to the Tafel followed a downward trend.

As government programs came to an end, Roy recalls that donations went back to the charity to help the community in need. “It’s been two years now, it’s crazy. Our donations have actually increased. It wasn’t about food, it was about money. People then started giving us money for food. And it was pretty amazing. So while food donations went down, cash donations went up.”

Billy Talent, who are performing their Crisis of Faith tour with Rise Against and NOBRO, will continue to make financial donations to the food bank after each show.

“There have been job losses, the cost of groceries, inflation has gone up, rents have gone up, people can’t find affordable housing. So we see that our numbers are slowly increasing. And we’ve actually surpassed pre-pandemic levels. So the numbers in March, we had our second-biggest month ever in terms of people who need us.”

Londoners rally for Billy Talent CREDIT: Jess Gould / XFM News

Roy goes on to say that this collaboration with Billy Talent helps raise awareness of the increased demand from food banks. I know that even if people forget to bring items, they can still make cash donations or drop off their donations at most grocery stores. So for us it’s always great what comes in. And Londoners have been really wonderful givers over that time and we need them.”

While monetary and food donations can go a long way, Roy points to other donations that the London Food Bank can accept. “Some of the other items that we don’t think too much about are some of the non-food items like feminine hygiene products or toiletries, baby items are definitely required as well.”

Donations can be made to the London Food Bank in a variety of ways, including online through CanadaHelps or during their business hours for personal donations. For more information on how you can help and get involved, visit londonfoodbank.ca.