Will the COVID-19 shutdown have an effect on the London Meals Financial institution’s spring drive?

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Jonathan Juha 17-year-old Cadence Lankin raised $ 1,100 for the London Food Bank by giving away four of her paintings.  Jane Roy, co-managing director of the Food Bank, will accept her donation on Friday.  (Derek Ruttan / The London Free Press)17-year-old Cadence Lankin raised $ 1,100 for the London Food Bank by giving away four of her paintings. Jane Roy, co-managing director of the Food Bank, will accept her donation on Friday. (Derek Ruttan / The London Free Press)

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The London Food Bank is taking a final step in raising funds for its spring campaign, just as the province’s recent COVID-19 shutdown could result in a decline in donations starting Saturday.

Easter holiday weekend is traditionally the busiest time of the 10-day drive, but food bank officials hope the largely online format of this year’s campaign – a move forced by the pandemic – will offset a decline in food donations.

“We just don’t know what to expect,” said Glen Pearson, co-executive director of the Food Bank.

“We always get half of everything we get on the last weekend of the trip, but with the lock in the middle it’s difficult. . . and it definitely makes donating online a lot more important. “

The drive comes from the food bank embarking on major food insecurity projects in the city – projects made possible at the same time thanks to the generosity of Londoners during the earlier online pandemic collections.

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One of them is a mobile project in collaboration with four branches of the London YMCA and five resource centers in the neighborhood to create a city-wide food distribution system that will make it easier for people to access food.

The grocery bank is now also delivering45 agencies that support People in need, almost twice as many agencies the food bank supported before the pandemic. Also since the beginning of the pandemic, the food bank started a lunch program to feed the homeless in the city.

  1. London Food Bank donations.  (Mike Hensen / The London Free Press)

    Virtual donations for Spring Food Drive

  2. According to Wayne Dunn of Business Cares Food Drive, this year's campaign is unlike any other in its 21-year history.  (Mike Hensen / The London Free Press)

    The Business Cares Food Drive chair creates home stretch appeal

  3. Glen Pearson, Co-Executive Director of the London Food Bank, helps sort donations for the agency's Thanksgiving Food Drive on Tuesday.  Derek Ruttan / The London Free Press

    The London Food Bank sees a growing need when the Thanksgiving ride ends

“These are some of the biggest changes in food security in our 35 years as a food bank,” said Pearson.

“I think there is actually more at stake this time. . . and we ask London to remember that our responsibilities are much greater now, but the goal of food security is much closer than it is up to now. “

On Friday, the food bank’s efforts were boosted by 17-year-old Cadence Lankin, who used the proceeds from the sale of her artwork to donate $ 1,100 for the ride.

That’s the kind of support and generosity the food bank has received from Londoners since the virus crisis began, Pearson said.

“I think that’s one of the things the pandemic really did – it did baptized This whole community, all of us, all populations, all ages, ”he said. “We look for other people and try to find ways to help our neighbors. Every single citizen took part in it. “

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As of Friday, the spring food drive had raised the equivalent of 19,708 kg of food through 6,358 kg of food donated and $ 76,359.93 in donations, which was worth the rest of the sum.

2021 SPRING FOOD DRIVE

Runs until Monday

Donate at www.londonfoodbank.ca. Checks and cash at the grocery bank are also accepted. E-transfers are not accepted.

Non perishable food and toiletries can be donated at grocery stores. required items available on the Food Bank website.

Food donations are low risk for the spread of COVID-19, but the money goes even further if the food bank buys what is needed.

Fire stations do not accept food donations.

With a healthy supply in the central warehouse, up to 100 percent of Spring Drive goes to other agencies and catering services, compared to the usual 60 percent

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