The Food Rescue program gained some weight this month, but according to Dennis Chippa, that's a good thing.
The executive director of the Gathering Place Soup Kitchen in North Bay, says they received 9,260 pound of food from various grocery stores and restaurants from around the city of North Bay.
Chippa says the Food Rescue program is crucial to the operation of the soup kitchen.
"When you are doing 400 to 500 meals and you are adding in 200 meals as far as outreach goes," he said.
"All through the entire winter, we were providing meals to the low barrier shelter; there are another 100 meals there. When you have got that meal output, the food rescue coming in is crucial. We know we could not be doing what we are doing without the support of food rescue supporters."
Chippa says moving forward they will be focussing on food outreach initiatives outside the city of North Bay including helping out places like Mattawa, Sturgeon Falls, Bonfield, Powassan, Callander, and some areas in Almaguin. Chippa expects to be getting meals out to Dokis and Nipissing First Nations by the summertime.
"Some of the prepared meals we will be sending to other communities," said Chippa.
"The idea is to share the love. We will be delivering them either through their food banks or on our own. We are working on that this month and will likely have something up and running in June. We are hoping to impact in the food insecurity in the outer-lying areas."
Chippa says the help is needed considering the demand for meals continues to increase in the lockdown.
"April last year was the first full month of COVID-19 so with the lockdown - that is why we can compare really carefully," he said.
"Our numbers are way up, they have gone up by more than double as far as meals, they have been more than doubled."