Donations to Autumn 2022 meals drive defied expectations, says London Meals Financial institution – London

Donations to Autumn 2022 meals drive defied expectations, says London Meals Financial institution – London

A week after launching their annual fall food drive amid rising inflation and unprecedented community demand, officials at the London Food Bank say donations from the London, Ontario community have far exceeded their expectations.

The 34th Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive began September 30th and will last through October 10th.

The food bank’s co-executive director Glen Pearson told Global News last week that he expects donations to fall due to the economic pressures Londoners are facing, including higher prices for petrol, food and housing.

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  • London Food Bank launches Autumn 2022 food promotion amid unprecedented demand

That pressure was illustrated in figures released last week, which showed nearly 23,200 people, nearly 9,300 households, had accessed the board this year, up 41 percent from the previous year. Around 28 percent of households were new to the agency, up from 18 percent in 2021.

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The three busiest months ever for the food bank’s service have all come within the last four months, with the agency counting more than 4,000 families asking for help each month.

“If you don’t have it, don’t give it,” Pearson said at the food drive’s Sept. 29 launch event. “As a food bank, we don’t want your family to suffer so you can help other families.”

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Despite the financial crisis, the generosity of the community has been on full display over the past week, with contributions well above those of last year at this point, Pearson says.

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“As of yesterday our numbers are up a lot on last year, they’re now at £43,000 compared to £29,000 at this point a year ago,” he said on Thursday.

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“As I posted this morning, I don’t quite get it. I love it though. It means the Londoners have really progressed in ways we didn’t expect.”

As expected, this year’s campaign has reverted to physical food donations versus cash donations, which had a greater focus during the 2020 and 2021 campaigns due to COVID-19.

So far, Pearson says, the ratio of donations in kind to donations in cash has been two to one.

“It might be because people don’t have as much cash on hand as they used to, but when they get to the grocery store and see the bin serving food and remember it’s running, it motivates them.” , he said.

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Even monetary donations don’t go as far as they used to. According to Food Banks Canada, a $3.21 donation is now equivalent to about a pound of food, up from $2.60 last year.

Food prices rose 11 percent in August, the fastest rate since 1981, according to Statistics Canada’s latest monthly Consumer Price Index report released last month.

That being said, Pearson emphasizes that every little helps.

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“We choose to let people give what they think they want to give and know that whether they give us food or finance, they will both be used up immediately, probably within a couple of weeks because of the demand big is so high.”

In addition to its own customers, the food bank also supplies food to 22 other local authorities and is the main funder of the Harvest Bucks scheme, run by the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

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Non-perishable donations can be dropped off at grocery stores in Greater London, at any of the 14 fire stations in London and at the Food Bank warehouse at 926 Leathorne Street.

Fresh food donations should be taken directly to the food bank, while monetary donations and donations to the Harvest Bucks program can be made through the food bank’s website.

The Food Drive ends on October 10th.

– with files by Andrew Graham of Global News and The Canadian Press

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