Partners in Mission Food Bank hasn’t seen a dramatic increase in use since the pandemic began, and Executive Director Dan Irwin gives some of the credit to the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
That said, Irwin is seeing some numbers that worry him.
“Our new clients are up a little over 10 per cent, so that’s a concern as our numbers build and grow.”
The food bank has an annual budget of $700,000, which covers the cost of distributing about 60 food hampers a day in the Kingston community.
The food bank relies on individual donations and partnerships in the region to provide its services.
One of those organizations is Give 30.
The Give 30 campaign is inspired by the Muslim faith’s Ramadan, which starts in a week’s time.
The roughly month-long observance is a time of fasting during the day, sharing, and community.
Mona Rahman, Give 30’s co-chair in Kingston, says supporting the food bank is a natural extension of the principles of Ramadan.
“We’re recommended to increase our worship, increase our good deeds, increase our generosity,” said Rahman.
Last year’s campaign was the most successful one to date, raising $16,231.
“We haven’t actually set a goal for this year,” Rahman told Global Kingston. “We could aim higher because you know we reached the $16K, we can do this, why don’t we go for something like 20, you know.”
Aiding in those efforts this year are the actions of the Kingston Muslim Youth group.
“They’re going to try and get the schools together, the secondary schools, and get a little friendly competition to see who can raise the most money,” said Rahman.
Irwin says the partnership with Give 30 has been a perfect match.
“We get money from our local community and food from them and then we share with those who need it. We just love how…Give 30’s very much like us and it’s a community working together,” said Irwin.
Give 30 is supporting about a dozen foodbanks in communities across Canada as well as the United States and Australia.
Rahman is encouraging everyone to donate to their local food bank even if a Give 30 campaign isn’t running in their community.