Charities and other organizations in Moncton say they may need to change their approach in helping those in need as donations from the public have dropped significantly.
“It’s not the worse I’ve seen it, but it’s the worst in a long time,” said YMCA ReConnect program director Lisa Ryan.
Ryan said that she has rarely seen her shelves as empty as they were on Tuesday, with “literally” nothing on the shelves.
Every summer, that seems to be the case for many charitable organisations in the Greater Moncton area, and Ryan said there may be many reasons for the situation.
“I think a lot of donors are away, I think another reason is the rising cost of food, things are increasing, wages are not,” she said. “It’s a struggle for people to put food on their own table, let alone keep charities cupboards full.”
Moncton has more than 50 various support services, but despite that, charities struggle to help feed and shelter those in need.
Ryan said groups like hers need to work together to make better use of their limited resources.
“We are hoping to start more of a collaboration with other organisations that are receiving food that they don’t necessarily use,” added Ryan.
Jason Surette, founder of Big Hearts, Small City, says using the Food Depot Alimentaires model could help streamline services.
“They’ve already amalgamated a lot of the food banks in greater Moncton, so they’ve already taken that step to centralize food support, so i think the next step is to centralize the food service so that people that can’t afford meals have some,” Surette said.
Ben MacMichael, manager of the Peter Mckee Community Food centre, agrees.
“It’s not keeping pace, the need versus demand versus resources,” MacMichael said. “So if those other organisations, if they partner and work together one-on-one, sharing resources, sharing contacts maybe applying for grants together, I think they can stretch what they do, just like we did.”
Ryan said she thinks the best way for them to improve the services they provide is to communicate with one another.
“It’s time for all of us to be on the same page and make sure that none of us are duplicating services, we want to be as effective and as efficient as possible, especially with our donors money,” Ryan concluded.