The Ottawa Food Bank says more residents in the capital have been relying on it during the pandemic, and it wants to remind residents that there is nothing wrong with seeking out services offered.
Interim CEO Rachael Wilson says food bank demand went up when the pandemic hit in the spring, it then levelled out, but is now on the rise again, approaching the holidays.
Wilson feels there is still a stigma associated with going to a food bank, and notices the need from residents is more dire since they're waiting until the last possible moment to go.
"We really want people to know there is no shame ever in going to a food bank, that is why we're there," Wilson explains.
She adds, food banks also offer other supports such as employment and language services, and encourages anyone in need of an extra helping hand to reach out.
Those wishing to access a food bank in the city can call the Ottawa Food Bank at (613)-745-7001 or visit its website. Home delivery is an option for residents who are unable to leave their homes.
Meanwhile, on a positive note, the Chicken Farmers of Ontario and the Chicken Farmers of Canada have donated roughly 4,000 kilograms of fresh chicken to the Ottawa Food Bank, which represents around 35,000 meals the food bank can provide.
Wilson says the Ottawa Food Bank aims to ensure that around 50 per cent of the food it provides to residents is fresh.