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‘Individuals are feeling it:’ Demand up, donations down at Halifax food and furniture bank

Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank Executive Director Denise Daley said donations to the organization are down, while demand is up about 40 per cent. Ashley Field/Global News

Shelves are bare and stock is “very low” at Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank as the rising cost of living is affecting donations to the organization.

“Our donations have been down by approximately 30 per cent since the rising inflation and everything that’s happening in the world today,” said executive director Denise Daley.

“Individuals are feeling it, because there’s a rising cost of food, so we’re not seeing as many people saying, “Hey, you know what, I’m going to buy an extra four cans and bring it to Parker Street.'”

Read more: Most Canadians are cutting back their food spending as inflation soars: poll

The food bank hands out approximately 80 boxes of nutritious food Monday to Friday in Halifax’s north end, and on Tuesdays, they deliver food boxes to those who can’t come to the food bank — a service they’re now booking two weeks in advance. Daley said, so far, they haven’t had to turn anyone away, but “the fear is always there.”

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“Just in time, we always have enough to pack our boxes,” she said, adding while donations are down, demand is up by about 40 per cent.

Parker Street Food and Furniture bank is in need of food donations to help create boxes to hand out to those in need. Ashley Field/Global News

“Increase in demand for more food boxes, for different furniture items, for emergency assistance in paying bills. The demand is high, so we are reaching out to the communities, we are looking for more grants, so we can reach more people that are requesting our help.”

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The charitable organization is now turning to the community for support. In June, it’s participating in the Great Canadian Giving Challenge, a nationwide initiative.

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“We’re asking our community members, our companies, our supermarkets, our stores, our offices — anybody — households, to just participate in doing food drives,” she said.

“We’ll come and pick it up or you can drop it off at our head office. We appreciate anything that will help to serve our community.”

Read more: Why Canada’s food inflation may get worse before it gets better

Daley said they appreciate all food items but are particularly in need of canned foods and non-perishable items.

Clients looking to receive a food box must call, email or stop by to make an appointment.

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