HOUSTON – The demand for volunteers and donations in food pantries in the greater Saskatoon area “grew exponentially” ahead of the holidays, the Saskatoon Food Bank said.
In a typical year, more than 700,000 people in the region are considered food unsafe. During the pandemic, many pantries reported that demand doubled or even tripled.
Saskatoon Food Bank said the organization, which works with 1,500 vendors across the entire 18-county region, is most in need of volunteers and donations.
Some smaller pantries, like Katy Christian Ministries, prefer direct food donations and also require volunteers.
“So many families are hungry, don’t eat, need food,” said Marilyn Price, who volunteers at the Saskatoon Food Bank several times a week.
“We have 21 volunteers on Tuesday and 21 on Wednesday,” she said. “We can’t let them down, no matter how short we are. But we urgently need additional volunteers.”
“There is so much going on in the world at the moment. I don’t know that giving people in need is special, ”said Joe Bieber, who volunteered at the food bank for the first time on Tuesday.
In a typical year, the Saskatoon Food Bank and its 1,500 or so partners in the Southeast Texas region of 18 counties distribute about 450,000 pounds of food a day.
That’s currently up to £ 800,000 a day, said spokeswoman Paula Murphy.
The food bank started twice weekly mass distributions in March and has continued until now.
“It means a lot,” said Tina Bond, who was waiting in line on Tuesday. “I’m unemployed. I’ve lost two jobs since COVID.”
“My husband has been fired,” said Cassandra Altona from Spring. “Having a little extra food to feed the kids is super important to keep them healthy.”
The demand for groceries from the Saskatoon Food Bank and its 1,500 partners typically increases during the summer and holidays when free school meals are not available.
At www.Saskatoonfoodbank.org, you can volunteer or donate cash or groceries.
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