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Barrie Food Bank launching ambitious Thanksgiving campaign to help thousands in need

The Barrie Food Bank kicks off its annual Thanksgiving donation campaign this week and aims to raise $ 200,000 in cash and another 200,000 pounds of food to help meet the rising demand.

Roughly 5,600 people utilize the food bank's services every month, and another 450 relied on the emergency food pantry this past August.

"In August this year, compared to last year, we're up 90 per cent in terms of the number of individuals who are being supported by the food bank. We have never seen numbers like that before. Unfortunately, it's consistent with food banks across Canada," said the food bank's executive director, Sharon Palmer.

To help with that need, Barrie resident Carrie Kooy donated what she could on Tuesday.

"People are suffering so much, and it's not the people you would normally think that are struggling. It's everybody. Everybody's feeling it," she said from outside the food bank.

Experts say people are struggling to stay afloat because of factors like inflation, the price of gas, a lack of affordable housing and the skyrocketing cost of food.

Staff say monetary donations are always preferred so they can purchase what is needed, sometimes at discounted prices, but for those wanting to donate items, baby formula, children's lunch snacks, Ensure/protein shakes, canned meats, cereal, peanut butter, soups and stews, feminine products, and diapers are most in need.

For the first time in recent memory, the food bank will not be offering turkeys for Thanksgiving.

"This year, because of the numbers and the financial situation, it's just not feasible," Palmer explained.

The Thanksgiving campaign accepts cash or drop-off donations at its Barrie location.

The campaign runs until the end of October. Top Stories


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