Day of Caring right this moment for Regina and Saskatoon meals banks

(Regina Food Bank/Submitted)

COVID-19 is already putting a lot of pressure on the Regina and Saskatoon food banks and they need help.

Demand is already up seven per cent in Regina and four per cent in Saskatoon. If that keeps increasing, the food banks estimate they’ll each have a shortfall of one million meals per month.

That’s why today, Rawlco Radio is holding a Day of Caring with the Regina and Saskatoon food banks.

“The service that our food banks offer in Saskatoon and Regina and across this province are important each and every day of the year,” Premier Scott Moe said Tuesday on Gormley. “They most certainly are providing that hand up to individuals on a day or a week where they may need it.

“It’s even more so important when you have the upset in our economy due to the COVID-19 health care crisis. We hear the numbers of people that are applying for EI, have been laid off temporarily due to a number of businesses in our community that have slowed down or just not operating for a number of weeks.”

(Regina Food Bank/Submitted)

The pressures on families with so many off work and school nutrition programs cancelled is starting to be felt at the food bank.

More than 40 per cent of the people served by the food banks are children. Without school nutrition programs, it’s going to mean an extra strain on family resources.

But with people in stores less often, that’s likely to mean fewer food donations. So food banks expect to need to buy more food.

The food banks are asking for donations of money to buy food in bulk and get it out to people. COVID-19 is changing the way emergency food will be provided to those most in need.

(Regina Food Bank/Submitted)

To respect social distancing, they’ll create pop-up locations and deliver door to door. There will also be ‘to-go’ hampers for pickup.

For the foreseeable future, food banks will operate with far fewer volunteers and will need to hire temporary staff to help get all this done.

Rawlco Radio is getting it started with a $1-million donation between the Regina and Saskatoon food banks.

You can help by donating online at www.saskatoonfoodbank.org or at www.reginafoodbank.ca. Phone capabilities are limited, so the food banks request all donations and questions go to their websites.

The need isn’t restricted to Regina and Saskatoon. Rural food banks are facing similar pressures.

“It becomes all the more incumbent on us that can to provide a donation, or provide some time, provide whatever we can to ensure these services can continue to be offered in our community,” Moe said. “This is a measure of who we are as a society.”

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