Main photo: Lynne Doyle (centre), of The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation, picks up food donated by Chuck’s Roadhouse after the restaurant closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses and residents with the means to continue supporting local food banks are asked to help meet the increased need. (The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation / Facebook)
Huntsville’s two local food banks are open and are still available to those most vulnerable to food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Table Soup Kitchen Food Bank and The Salvation Army Huntsville Food Bank are asking those with the means help ensure their shelves remain stocked with both food items and toiletries.
Krystal Fuller, coordinator of the Salvation Army Huntsville food bank has been accessing as many resources as possible through this pandemic. The food bank is a direct member of Feed Ontario, the Ontario Association of Food Banks, and the Association of Food Banks Canada, and Fuller has been in contact with every one to receive as much support as she can for the community in this time of need. They anticipate the need will grow substantially.
The Salvation Army Huntsville food bank (4 Mary Street East) has extended their hours to five days a week, from Monday to Friday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m.—by appointment only (call 705-789-3398)—to accommodate the increased need.
Supplies are available but stock is decreasing rapidly. They appreciate donations of perishable items such as milk, eggs, butter, vegetables, and fruits; non-perishables such as pasta sauce, pasta, peanut butter, canned proteins, and canned vegetables; and monetary donations which are used to purchase much-needed staple items.
For those in need, appointments will be scheduled to avoid any contact with anyone else. To keep everyone safe, volunteers will prepare food packages for individuals and families which will then be delivered to the front entrance of the Salvation Army Church where the recipients can pick them up.
Donation bins that are labelled Salvation Army can be found at the front of the following grocery stores: Freshco, Bullock’s Independent, and Metro. For those who would like to donate directly to the food bank, there is a donation bin at the back entrance of the Salvation Army Community Church at 4 Mary Street East, Huntsville.
“This pandemic has created a situation for those individuals and families already living in poverty and constantly struggling with food insecurity,” said Fuller. “Families are now facing a situation where children are at home full-time and are not able to access feeding programs within their schools or community, leaving parents struggling to feed them. Individuals and families are relying more on our local food bank systems, and that need will steadily increase as we venture further into this very difficult situation. Please consider donating to those less fortunate through our local food bank and making a difference in people’s lives today.”
The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation food bank (11 Hanes Street) has expressed that they are always in need of donations to keep meeting the needs in the community.
“We have no idea what the future will look like and how much food we will be getting in from the suppliers as things are completely unforeseen now,” said CEO Heather Cassie. She shared that the community has already stepped in to help support the food bank by donating their foods after recent restaurant closures, and extends thanks to the organization’s donors and volunteers.
The Table’s food bank hours are Tuesday and Friday 12-3 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. They ask that guests bring their own containers/jars and boxes/bags when collecting food. Guests will not be able to enter the building; instead, a food bank volunteer will be available to shop for them. The existing limits will still apply but may change due to food availability. New guests always welcome – bring ID and health cards for family members (no other questions asked). Anyone who is feeling ill or has been in contact with someone who has travelled out of the country recently is asked not to come to the food bank in person.
The Exchange Store will be closed until further notice. If anyone has items to donate, please hold on to them until the organization is fully operational again.
The Table Soup Kitchen’s host churches are closed but there will be takeout meals available for those in need. Please bring your own container/jar so volunteers can fill them for you at the Community Kitchen at 11 Hanes Street on Mondays and Thursdays from 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Food donations at The Table can be made during the food bank hours noted above. Financial donations can be made at thetablefoundation.ca
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