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North Bay Food Bank catering to more clients

'We found since COVID started we're seeing people we haven't seen before because one or two have lost a low paying job'
Food Bank Front
The North Bay Food Bank Fisher Street. File photo.

The North Bay Food Bank officials are seeing a rise in the number of new clients visiting their facility on Fisher Street in North Bay since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Executive Director Debbie Marson believes the facility is averaging about 10 new clients a session, including people they have not seen in years or they are brand new to the food bank. 

"We found since COVID started we're seeing people we haven't seen before because one or two have lost a low paying job," Marson told CKAT.  

"Even with CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit), if they can get that top-up, they're still looking for that supplement of the food."

Meantime, their delivery service will continue on a very limited basis and is not a guaranteed service.

"We were very fortunate to have the support of the city, with the drivers that were doing the deliveries for us for the last three months, maybe four.  Now we're looking to try and keep that going to some degree based on volunteers that have stepped forward to help us," Marson said. 

The Food Bank is also returning to their pre-COVID hours on August 31. 

As for donations, Marson says online donations are welcome and are the easiest because you don't have to leave your home. 

"You go on our northbayfoodbank.ca website and donate, monthly donations really do help us plan and sustain the income levels that's coming in, especially with the fact we're not doing the fundraisers that we've traditionally been allowed to do," she says.

Physical distancing protocols are also in place for safe in-person donations while non-perishables, baby items and personal hygiene items are still accepted at the food bank too.

"I just want to thank the community, the support has been ongoing," Marson says.




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