Moncton's two food banks are scrambling to serve an extra 250 families after the local YMCA food bank closed.

Both managers say the best solution to the problem is a new central food bank to serve the entire city.

Moncton food bank

Moncton’s West End Food Bank serves about 120 families, but manager Ben MacMichael believes it's too far from downtown for many of the people who used to go to the former YMCA food bank. (West End Food Bank/Twitter)

The West End Food Bank was prepared to take on about 150 new families, doubling its clientele, but only a few people visited on Wednesday, the first day since the YMCA location closed, said manager Ben MacMichael.

He believes his location is too far from downtown.

“It's not because they don't need food, it's because of the transportation issue," said MacMichael.

"It's frustrating because you know they are going to go hungry, somebody is going to go without. And a lot of these families are younger and they have kids, they need this food," he said.

The Open Hands Food Bank had one of its busiest days in 16 years on Wednesday, with 97 families looking for help, said manager Betty Surrett.

It was "way too much," she said. "I'm running out of stuff. I have no fresh produce to give out because, you know, I normally have produce."

"I expected more families yes, but I didn't expect it to be this many."

Surrett says she will be prepared for more families on Friday, but she and MacMichael worry about the hundreds of families still unaccounted for.

The Moncton YMCA decided to close its food bank and open a community food centre, which will focus on teaching vulnerable people cooking skills and nutritional information, and how to grow their own food.