Since today is the kickoff to the London Food Bank’s 24th annual fall food drive (with it officially starting tomorrow) and since I’ve been working with Moms Fighting Hunger this month, it seems appropriate to focus on hunger issues here in London, Ontario today.
The population of London, Ontario is 366,151. The average number of families helped by the London Food Bank is 3,400 per month which is a 10-15% increase over last year. This is an especially busy time of year for the food bank because back to school expenses in August tend to drain the budgets of low income families. The local economy has been a concern in the area, especially with recent plant closures, but fortunately, Londoners are generous people and despite the downturn in the economy, we’ve seen an increase in donations to the food bank.
Some stats from the London Food Bank as of 2010:
Average number of visits per family (utilizing the Food Bank) during the year: 3.52
Percentage of families served with no source of income: 24.98%
Percentage of Food Bank clients helped who are children and youth: 37.18%
Last year’s fall food drive brought in 54,954 pounds of food and that was a 1,000 pound increase over the year before. Unfortunately, demand has also increased and it’s vital that these donations keep pouring in. The Food Bank is looking for non-perishable foods and items such as these foods that are always in high demand: canned meats, fish or stew, peanut butter, jam, canned vegetables, pasta, rice, canned soup, canned fruit, macaroni and cheese dinners, canned juice or juice boxes, baby food, baby formula, powdered or canned milk, oatmeal. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, including a cake or other baking mix, boxed stuffing, canned cranberry sauce or other such items is always welcome too.
Donations for the fall food drive can be dropped off at most grocery stores or Fire Halls in the area or at the Food Bank itself at 926 Leathorne Street. The drive runs until October 8th.
Some other ways you can help the London Food Bank to continue doing their good works:
- Let others know about the food bank and its needs. Blog about it, share it on Facebook and Twitter, tell your family, friends, and neighbours.
- Donate money.
- Give of your time. Over 200 people volunteer at the Food Bank each week. Check out their website for more information on how you can get involved. Organize your own food drive perhaps at your place of business, school, or community organization. An information package is available on the Food Bank’s website.
- Purchase newsprint end rolls from the London Food Bank for $2 each. These can be used as environmentally friendly gift wrap, art paper, or wrapping items when moving or putting them into storage.