Sharing a turkey dinner with loved ones is something to be thankful for, but for a growing number of Manitobans that’s becoming a luxury too expensive to afford.
More people in the province are relying on soup kitchens to provide them with the meals they need, according to Winnipeg Harvest.
Since 2008, food bank usage in the province has climbed nearly 58 per cent, with 41 per cent of their clients being children.
“We did see a spike over the summer of 50 per cent over the same period as last year and part of that we know is because some of our food banks don’t run over the summer so people are coming here and also the snack programs and breakfast programs feeding kids during the school year are not functioning,” Kate Brenner, the Executive Director of Winnipeg Harvest said.
Thursday Agape Table held their Thanksgiving feast, expected to serve more than 600 plates of food, giving people like Colleen McManus and her sons a chance to have a special Thanksgiving meal.
“This year we couldn’t afford to do this at home. We are grateful to be able to come here today and have a beautiful meal together as a family and with our friends,” she said.
General Manager Dave Feniuk from Agape Table said they’ve seen more and more people walk through their doors.
“Over the last year we were starting at around 200 to 250 meals a day Monday to Friday. Now we’re upwards of 300 to 400 a day,” he said.
Siloam Mission is in need of adult winter boots, coats and underwear as well as socks, soup broth, coffee and laundry soap.
At Winnipeg Harvest, the need is for proteins and canned fruits and vegetables, as well as what’s on their top ten most-wanted items.