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Peterborough spring food drive to benefit Kawartha Food Share

Click to play video: 'Peterborough spring food drive to benefit Kawartha Food Share' Peterborough spring food drive to benefit Kawartha Food Share
Food bank demand continues to rise in Peterborough. As Mark Giunta reports, a two-week long food drive is about to begin to help tackle some of that need – Mar 29, 2022

A two-week long food drive is set to begin in support of the Kawartha Food Share in Peterborough.

Starting on March 31, food and monetary donations will be collected at the Independent, Real Canadian Superstore and No Frills locations within the city.

“It’s always a big thing in a small community.  We feel we are part of the community,” said Rod Costa, store manager at Real Canadian Superstore in Peterborough.  “This one is special.  We want to get the kids involved so we will have a cram-a-cruiser and cram-a-fire truck at our property.”

For those events, customers can donate money to purchase a pre-packed bag of non-perishable food to stuff into the cruiser or fire truck.

READ MORE: 60% of Canadians worry about feeding their families amid inflation: Ipsos poll

“It’s such a great time of year for this to happen,” said Ashlee Aitken, general manager at Kawartha Food Share. “Usually after the Christmas holiday season, it’s a lull time for us for donations.  The winter months are extremely busy at our food banks.”

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Aitken tells Global News Peterborough that the rising cost of living, including food, means dollar donations don’t go as far as they used to.

Kawartha Food Share used to be able to get $6 worth of food and supplies for every dollar donated.

“The rising cost of food has had an effect on both us, our food banks and our clients.  During these winter months, we are purchasing most of our food,” Aitken added.

“With our dollar not stretching to six times like it once did, it’s hard to get as much food into the building and out to the client numbers that are rising. It’s a little startling to see our clients already living on a small income to purchase food, now relying on us to purchase food,” she added.

Click to play video: 'Nearly 600,000 individuals access food banks in Ontario' Nearly 600,000 individuals access food banks in Ontario
Nearly 600,000 individuals access food banks in Ontario – Mar 28, 2022

Kawartha Food Share needs staple items such as canned vegetables, pasta sauces and macaroni and cheese.

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“We also need personal care items.  Things like shampoos, toothpaste, toothbrushes and soap.  Those things are expensive and our clients sometimes can’t afford them so we like to provide them as well,” Aitken said.

Kawartha Food Share served more than 15,000 people at its food banks last month.

“Typically on average, we serve about 9,000.  So a pretty big jump.  Last year, we were helping about 12,000 per month,” Aitken said.  “It’s going to be harder year than in years’ past.”

The spring food drive runs until the Easter weekend.

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