The London Food Bank is doing something a little differently this year for the 33rd edition of its annual spring food drive.
In a bid to do its part to flatten the curve amid the COVID-19 pandemic, for the first time, this year’s food drive will be a partly virtual one, says Jane Roy, the food bank’s co-executive director.
“We’re not obviously putting bags in the paper. We’re not having volunteers out in the stores. And we’re not, in that sense, distributing bags,” Roy says.
“There will be a virtual bag in your paper, and there will be virtual bags on the food bank website,” she said. “If you have the availability and the means to be able to donate, donate a virtual bag of groceries, as in, donate some money.
“$25 will help a single individual. $100 will help a family.”
There will still be traditional ways of helping the spring food drive, including through grocery store bins. The food bank received clearance from the Middlesex-London Health Unit to collect the food, Roy said.
“We take it to the food bank. We’re going to quarantine it so it’s safe and it won’t spread anything. So if people still would like to donate food, they can, if their grocery store has a bin out.”
Grocery stores without food donation bins will collect money at checkout, Roy said.
Roy says while last year’s food drive collected 60-70,000 pounds of food, there is no goal this year.
“This is kind of like our first food drive all over again,” she said. “With this one, there’s absolutely no goal, there will be no comparisons, because it really is a different kind of food drive.”
People can also still donate food by dropping it off in a bin outside of the city’s firehouses where it will be picked up by food bank volunteers.
“Londoners have really shown up during this crisis and they’ve shown up in times before. So we’re just we’re keeping the food drive going because it’s really key to us being able to continue to help the people who need it.