Parker Street Food Bank is already a busy spot and demand has increased in the days following post-tropical storm Fiona.
Megan Paquette has been an employee since February and says it’s been “the busiest” she’s seen. She says she has welcomed many new faces and people are coming from all over HRM.
“They’ve never been to a food bank in their life, but they lost all their food so they had no choice but to come in,” says Paquette.
Paquette says it’s been all hands on deck. Additional volunteers have been called in to help fill the need.
“We made emergency boxes prior to the storm. We knew we were going to get more people,” she says.
The organization lost power and did experience some food loss.
“It was mostly our produce that went bad. So, I would say probably five or six palettes of strawberries, bananas, stuff like that,” says Paquette.
Paquette adds that the community has rallied to bring in more donations, however, “there is always a need.”
Feed Nova Scotia has been working tirelessly to meet the demands of those in need throughout the province. The province announced on Monday that the non-profit organization would receive $500,000 to aid in storm recovery and response.
“That will allow us flexibility to quickly get food out, not only to our member network but other organizations out there that need support as a part of that response,” says Karen Theriault, director of communications at Feed Nova Scotia.
Two fully loaded five-tonne trucks, on behalf of Feed Nova Scotia, made their way to Cape Breton on Wednesday to supply some of the hardest-hit areas in the province with essentials.
“We’ve got so many food banks and meal programs up there who at the best of times are strapped to be providing for folks but now with the additional pressures it’s just really critical,” says Theriault.
Meanwhile, the food bank manager at Dalhousie Student Union says they have also seen an uptick in students using their food bank on campus, with 180 people registered for Thursday alone.
“We also had to contact Feed Nova Scotia to increase food amounts for today’s delivery,” says Micha Davies-Cole.
Theriault adds that she would like to see more supports in place from the provincial government following the response to Fiona, to ensure Nova Scotians are not left in vulnerable situations because they don’t have enough income.
“People aren’t food insecure because they don’t have food. They’re food insecure because they don’t have enough money.”