Hamilton Food Share says a $100,000 donation from the Hamilton Bulldogs is a “great boost” amid increasing demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The donation was announced just before the Easter long weekend by Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer and the Bulldogs’ Foundation.
“Hamilton’s food banks are starting to see the impact of the virus, with more families arriving at their doors. In these extremely unusual times, the Bulldogs’ Foundation, along with ATS Healthcare and the Andlauer family, are donating $100,000 to Hamilton Food Share,” Andlauer said in a press release.
Hamilton Food Share’s executive director, Joanne Santucci, said in a release on Thursday that the donation was welcome and will be turned into food to feed many “friends and neighbours” in need.
“This support is a great boost in the fight against hunger in our community. We are so grateful for this wonderful gift,” Santucci said.
The hub of Hamilton’s emergency food network says it began working with the city’s emergency and operations committee in late March after an increase in demand.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Hamilton Food Share said it was providing for 12 food banks across the region and serving approximately 13,000 people every month.
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However, Santucci told Global News that number is more like 20,000 per month after the provincial government ordered shut-down.
“So we would have to say that the service industry may be starting to feel the pinch now in the coming months,” said Santucci,
“And that’s going to be an extra band of pressure. I think banks are gonna have to figure out how many more is it and how do we keep continuing in this pandemic mode.”
The agency says food banks have been open amid the COVID-19 crisis but under a modified format to ensure proper social-distancing measures. Hamilton Food Share says it’s been using prepackaged meals and food hampers to serve clients as opposed to serving at its facilities.
In another release on Monday, Hamilton Food Share revealed a number of other businesses have also been stepping up to help, including ArcelorMittal Dofasco, StressCrete Group, the Hamilton Community Foundation and Tim Hortons, which have also made significant cash and food donations recently.
Santucci says with the timely donations food share is “holding” in light of increased usage.
“These contributions are helping us pull down some really big truckloads of food to get into our warehouse, so we can get it out to those agencies that are open. So everything is holding for now.”
The agency says its resources during the pandemic have been constantly shifting hours of operations. Anyone requiring its services should check-in online for updates.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.