London Cares Curb Hunger campaign kicks off with emphasis on fresh food

File photo of London Food Bank. Andrew Graham / Global News

As demand continues to grow to record levels, the London Food Bank and the city are kicking off the 27th edition of the London Cares Curb Hunger campaign.

According to food bank officials, the campaign is purposely held this time of year as donations in the summer months are traditionally lower than at other times of the year.

“We believe all Londoners should not only have access to food, but that the food they eat should be nutritious,” said Jane Roy, co-executive director of the London Food Bank.

While the campaign welcomes traditional donations of non-perishable food, it also works differently in requesting fresh food donations and including a “growing” component.

Londoners can sign up to grow a row of fresh food in their backyard or community garden.

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Along with using their own backyard or a community, people can also sign up to support the garden at the London Food Bank, says Jay Stanford, the City of London’s director of environment and waste management.

“We’ve had people who have put up greenhouses at a number of churches, which gets church groups more involved,” Stanford said.

“(The) fresh food then goes out the door very quickly and into the hands of people that need it the most.”

Fresh food now accounts for 56 per cent of the food distributed by the London Food Bank.

“Give what you can or grow what you can. It all gets to the food bank,” Stanford said.

According to the city, the Curb Hunger campaign is the longest-running partnership of its kind in Canada. This year, the food drive will run from June 7 to 17.

All the ways to donate, including through financial donations and growing a row, can be found on the food bank’s website. Non-perishable food can also be provided by dropping it off at a local fire hall or participating grocery stores.

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