“November was the second busiest month in 35 years”: London Food Bank thanks Business Cares Food Drive
The London Business Cares Food Drive (LBCFD) could not have come at a more convenient time.
“At the Food Bank board meeting on Wednesday, we saw the November numbers and they are the second highest in our 35-year history,” said Glen Pearson, deputy director of the London Food Bank.
“We were all kind of shocked. We knew it was going up, but now it’s up a lot, and for Canada’s largest boards their numbers are up over 50 percent during the pandemic, London problem, it’s a Canadian problem, “Pearson added.
This weekend they have 30 stores in London, Ontario. including 27 grocery stores, were packed with volunteers for the annual LCBFD food weekend.
“I actually had to post 30 more Gaylords in the last two hours, it was so busy,” said Wayne Dunn, chairman of the LBCFD campaign.Buyer Tim Forrest came to buy a bag of carrots but instead bought an entire shopping cart of groceries and donated it.
“I run a small business and at this time of year I see everyone on the street corners hurting to make ends meet and just wanting to do my part,” said Forrest.
Pearson believes the generosity of thousands of people like Forrest enables them and other agencies to serve their growing clientele.
“We’re nearly 3,600 families,” said Pearson. “That’s nearly 9,000 people a month, and that’s not talking about the other 10,000 people we regularly feed through other agencies we help, and their numbers are growing too.”
Around 1,000 volunteers are needed to pull through this weekend in all corners of the city. Among them on Wharncliffe Road and Commissioners Avenue No Frills were Inter-County Baseball League champions Braeden Ferrington and Cleveland Brownlee of the London Majors.“We’re just trying to feed as many families as we can for the holidays,” Brownlee said. “This time of year you always get the best stories. One came in yesterday (Saturday) and only said last year he was homeless and he says now he can help take care of other families. He came out with a whole shopping cart and those are the stories and things that you are looking for this weekend. “
While the food weekend is now over, the LBCFD will continue for the next two and a half weeks.
“We store all of our groceries in the Edge Automation warehouse in east London and have a great thesis on December 22nd,” said Dunn.
“In between, many companies and their employees will get involved. People can still donate online on our website and for the next few weeks we will be shifting the campaign to more money than groceries. However, companies will continue to help and we “I’m glad to have that too.”It was a hub of activity on London Business Cares Food Drive Grocery Weekend at No Frills on Wharncliffe Road in London, Ontario, December 5, 2021. (Brent Lale / CTV News)Pearson describes business as “essential” to the performance of the food bank.
“It’s not a crisis yet, but it’s a real moment of concern,” he said. “On food security, especially after COVID, we thought we’d all be better off and we’d better rebuild, but in this case it didn’t work out.”
The next event is the ‘Be a Fan, Bring a Can’ on Saturday December 11th when the London Knights host the Guelph Storm.
Volunteers will be present at Budweiser Gardens to raise funds for the LBCFD.