Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Guysborough Food Bank ‘busier than ever’

  • March 13 2024
  • By Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter    

GUYSBOROUGH — The Guysborough Food Bank is seeing a sharp increase in the number of people it serves, and the trend is “ongoing” says its manager.

“We’re busier than we’ve ever been,” Elizabeth Connolly told The Journal this week, noting that she’s been getting “two or three” new clients per week for some time.

“That doesn’t sound like much, but over the run of a month, that’s a lot. It’s ongoing. We’re now serving, on average, 37 clients a week ... I’d say [overall] we’re up by about 20 or 25 per cent.”

She added: “It’s what we expect in this economy. With the price of groceries, it’s hard for people to make ends meet.”

According to Statistics Canada, the Consumer Price Index on “food purchased stores” in Nova Scotia jumped by 7.3 per cent in the month just before Christmas last year. The national average hike on the same class of groceries during the comparable period was 4.9 per cent.

Packaged food comprises the staple of food bank donations. But “with the price of boxed cereal, it’s hard,” said Connelly, who has managed the food bank – a non-profit charitable organization – with her husband, Myles, since 2005.

“We ran very, very low in cereal. We just asked the public to help us with [donating] some, which they did ... It’s hard to say no to the large quantity of people coming in.”

She said, thanks to ongoing public support, “The food bank is doing okay and, right now, we’re coping well [even though] the numbers are increasing. Families are coming and saying, ‘Can you help us out?’ And that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to help people.”