Business and Operations
Food Banks Canada releases COVID-19 response fund impact report
By Bakers Journal
The Food Banks Canada COVID-19 Response Fund Impact Report indicates Canadians came together in record numbers to help food banks across Canada during the first year of the pandemic.
Food Banks Canada’s $150M COVID-19 Response Fund was established early in the pandemic to provide centralized messaging and support for operational resources, food and funding to support community-based organizations who help Canadians living with food insecurity.
In early 2020 Food Banks Canada delivered almost $150 million in help, including a record 34 million pounds of nutritious food and $97,988,170 in financial support to community organizations in 4,715 communities located in all of Canada’s provinces and territories.
Chris Hatch, Food Banks Canada’s CEO in a statement, that one of the most challenging pandemic changes was that many food banks had to switch from “grocery store shopping” formats to hampers, home delivery and drive-thrus to keep staff, volunteers and clients safe.
According to the report:
- 7.8 million pounds of food was delivered via 390,000 hampers
- 22 per cent of organizations introduced drive and walk thru services and pop-ups
- 67 per cent of food banks and community organizations pivoted to provide home delivery
The Food Banks Canada COVID-19 Response Fund report credits an unprecedented $97.9 million in donations from individuals, businesses, and government grants which helped food banks continue to provide food and cover additional pandemic expenses, including:
- PPE (masks, hand sanitizers for food bankers on the frontlines — and for clients)
- Reconfiguring food bank operations to be COVID-compliant; additional warehouse and/or cooler spaces and supporting safe client pick up exchange spaces
- Staffing costs to help offset loss of volunteers related to lockdown’s
- Local food purchases to complement donations and directed support beyond FBC
- Increased demand for services – particularly in urban areas and the North
As part of Food Banks Canada’s COVID-19 Response Fund the Federal Government’s Surplus Food Rescue Program and private donors helped to provide:
- 2.9 million pounds of milk, cheese, and yogurt in partnership with the Dairy Farmers of Canada
- 5 million pounds of frozen meat and eggs were delivered to communities
- 18.5 million pounds of purpose manufactured, private label goods were produced to provide stability in supply to community food banks and food programs