Enterprise Cares Meals Drive launches 23rd marketing campaign in assist of the London Meals Financial institution – London

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The Business Cares Food Drive was officially launched on Thursday in support of the London Food Bank.

It is the 23rd edition of the campaign, which runs from now until December 21st.

This year’s campaign is the third in a row without a specific fundraising goal. Last year’s campaign raised approximately £588,000 in food and cash equivalent donations.

“In the end, the community will decide,” campaign manager Wayne Dunn said.

“I think with charitable giving, and especially when we’re in an environment that we’re in, let the heart decide because some people just can’t. We don’t want to make anyone feel like they have to do it. … So give what you can, but only if you can.”

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The London Food Bank is reaching out to the business community to support local agencies

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  • The London Food Bank is reaching out to the business community to support local agencies

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The initiative comes at a time when demand for the food bank’s services is at record levels as high inflation puts pressure on Londoners’ wallets.

Food bank officials say they have seen a 32 percent increase in demand compared to the same time last year, with about 4,000 families, 11,000 individuals, turning to the food bank for help each month.

In addition to its own clients, the food bank supports more than 30 other local agencies and programs in the London area.

“It’s so difficult and when we look at what’s potentially going to happen in the future all we see is uphill and uphill,” said Jane Roy, co-executive director of the London Food Bank.

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“It’s numbers. But they are also individuals. These are families that have it really hard. So let’s look at it again and go whatever anyone can do to help will be great.

Food prices have risen at their fastest rate in decades in recent months. In October, food prices were 11 percent higher than a year ago. That’s down from 11.4 percent in September.

A report this week from Feed Ontario, a coalition of hunger relief agencies, said 587,000 adults and children visited food banks a total of 4.3 million times between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, a 15 percent increase in people a 42 percent increase in visits compared to 2019 numbers.

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According to Feed Ontario, more Ontarians rely on food banks and visit them more frequently

Dunn says the campaign sees more cash donations than it used to, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic requiring a virtual ride in 2020 and a hybrid campaign last year.

“We used to be 100 percent food-centric. Right now we’re 50/50, and the cash and checks being brought in really (allow) us to buy the groceries that aren’t in stock — some protein, fresh (groceries),” he said.

“The other part of the cash and checks that’s really making a big difference for us right now is that we’re able to fund the other programs all year round and they all have great returns and all, and that cannot be done unless we have checks.”

Visit BusinessCares.ca for information on dues and drop-off locations. Monetary donations can also be made through the website.

This weekend, campaign volunteers will be collecting non-perishable donations and/or cash donations from dozens of local grocery stores, and Be a Fan, Bring a Can is scheduled for the London Knights v Flint game on December 17th.

Business pickup days are scheduled for December 16th, 19th and 20th.

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– with files by Andrew Graham and The Canadian Press

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