The Ottawa Food Bank says donations are down by as much as 40 per cent compared to this time last year.

The Ottawa Food Bank says donations are down heading into the holiday season.

The service issued an urgent appeal for cash donations during the holiday season.

The food bank said in a statement it normally gets close to half of its yearly donations during the holidays, but says little money appears to be coming in either online or by mail.

Cash donations are crucial because it has to buy food to add to what is donated, the food bank said.

The service said it helps feed 48,000 people a year, more than a third of them children.

The mayor's office announced Thursday that more than $5,100 in surplus corporate funding from the mayor's 13th annual Christmas celebration will be donated to the food bank.