Meals insecurity in Saskatoon is rising drawback

The Saskatoon Food Bank sees long lines and fewer volunteers handing out over 800,000 pounds of food every day.

HOUSTON – The coronavirus pandemic hits Saskatoon hard. You will see it up close in long lines while families in trouble wait for food.

“Unfortunately, things can get a lot worse,” said Brian Greene, president and CEO of the Saskatoon Food Bank.

Greene says if we can’t stop the spread of COVID-19, the need will grow exponentially too.

“Most of the distributions we put in the trunk, I can tell you that the cases we put groceries in belong to cars that are anywhere on the map,” Greene said. “The people you can tell were fine and suddenly they weren’t anymore.”

The Saskatoon Food Bank distributes 800,000 pounds of food every day. That’s 350,000 pounds more than before COVID-19. The need for food increases. The number of volunteers is falling. It’s a bad combination.

“The voluntary hit was enormous for us,” said Greene. “We went from 85,000 a year to the last month we only had 2,200 volunteers.”

Saskatoon traditions like Super Feast are also volunteers. Feeding them on Thanksgiving is not a giveaway for families.

And it’s not just Saskatoon fighting. Across the country, people wait in lines for hours to get food. And it’s not because it’s a holiday.

“This is not a short term thing, this is not a Thanksgiving thing, we are going to do this for a long time,” said Greene.

If you want to help the Saskatoon Food Bank, you can sign up as a volunteer on their website. And if you need help with eating, here is a list of free meal distributions this week.

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