Donations at food banks on Prince Edward Island have hit new lows, organizers say.
Demand at the Summerside Salvation Army has spiked while donations have decreased,
The Salvation Army is the main food bank for Prince Edward Island’s second largest city.
“We are in an emergency situation at this time,” said Marj Montgomery, food bank coordinator.
She said donations are typically down at this time of year, but she has never seen provisions this low.
“I was just in the food bank a few minutes ago looking at the shelves and the shelves are really bare,” said Major Willis Drover, the Salvation Army’s core officer. “We need just about everything right now.”
Drover said he estimates a 40 to 50 per cent increase in the number of clients using the food bank over the past year.
The number of people accessing the food bank has been on the rise since the economic downturn began in 2008, Montgomery said.
The drop in donations has meant the Salvation Army has had to cut the number of items in each hamper they hand out.
“Our hampers have gone down drastically as to what’s in them,” Montgomery said, “because we don’t have the food to put in.”
Organizers say a food drive is planned in a few weeks. Until then, Montgomery said they will use cash donations to purchase food.
“When we have to make our clients go without, I have a real sympathy for them,” she said.
“We need more angels.”