76,800 pounds of food collected during 2022 London Cares Curb Hunger food drive

London Mayor Ed Holder; Director of Environmental, Fleet and Waste Services Jay Stanford; Canon Kevin George; Medical Officer of Health Dr. Alex Summers; London Food Bank Co-Executive Director Glen Pearson on June 8, 2022. Andrew Graham/980 CFPL

Officials with the London Food Bank are marking the completion of what they say was another successful London Cares Curb Hunger food drive.

The 26th edition of the campaign, which began June 8 and ended June 18, collected the equivalent of roughly 76,800 pounds of food through monetary and physical donations.

In all, 11,800 pounds of food was dropped off at grocery stores, fire halls and the food bank, while 22,500 pounds were collected through corporate donations and 16,900 pounds from the Community Refresh program, organizers said.

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An additional $66,640 was collected during the drive which, according to a Food Banks Canada conversion rate, equals roughly 25,600 pounds of food.

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More is expected to roll in as part of the food drive’s Grow-a-Row, Adopt a Plot, and Green Wall programs, organizers said.

Like last year, this year’s campaign saw the distribution of free green walls: 30-by-120 centimetre and larger one-by-one metre vertical gardens that can be used where space is limited.

“We offer a special thanks to all those who participated in this year’s Curb Hunger food drive,” said Glen Pearson, the food bank’s co-executive director, in a statement.

“The food drive is evolving with an important focus on distributing fresh food with the help of Londoners growing food in local greenhouses, community gardens, and in their own backyards for the food bank,” he continued.

“We are encouraging Londoners to keep planting and harvesting fresh produce to donate through the Grow-a-Row program this summer to continue the food drive’s local impact.”

Campaign organizers highlighted the importance of growing one’s own food during the drive, with the aim to become less reliant on supply chains that may become disrupted in times of crisis.

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The drive comes during a surge in demand for the local food bank, and for food banks across the country, as inflation spirals upwards.

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At the London Food Bank, officials had anticipated that 2,900 to 3,000 families would visit the food bank every month, a figure that has grown to 3,600 families and is expected to reach 4,000 by October.

In addition to helping individuals, the London Food Bank also supports 35 other organizations.

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