The food bank in Summerside, P.E.I. found its shelves empty earlier this month and had to go out and buy groceries.
The Salvation Army operation can generally meet the need with donated food, but in this case it wasn't enough.
"Our shelves were empty. When our volunteers come in to go and try to make the baskets, the boxes that we give out as donations, the food just wasn't there. We had no cereal, we had no soup, we had no pasta and pasta sauce to put in the boxes," said staff member Karen Mallett.
"When that happens we had to quickly scrounge around and decide what we were going to do. And the donations were just a little bit lower than what we normally got, so we had to go out and purchase."
Donations have picked up in recent days, but didn't come soon enough.
A Jewellery Plus food drive delivered about 80 kilograms of food, and on Wednesday Rainbow Daycare will deliver another four boxes. The children will help pack and hand out that food.