COVID-19 in Quebec: Food banks seeing spike in demand

The number of hospitalizations due to the virus have gone down Sunday, but confirmed cases are still increasing.

Hospitalizations down, but province records 72 more deaths Sunday

A Montreal firefighter volunteers at Moisson Montreal food bank. With unemployment up amid the pandemic, more Quebecers are seeking the services of food banks. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)
  • Quebec has 18,357 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 877 patients have died.
  • There are 1,102 people in hospital, including 183 in intensive care. Here's a guide to the numbers.
  • At least 3,000 health-care workers in the province have tested positive for COVID-19. They account for nearly one-sixth of the total cases.
  • Montreal's state of emergency has been extended until April 22.
  • Canadian Rangers are being sent to the Innu communities of Nutashquan and Ekuanitshit. Army personnel are also providing support to the province's long-term care homes.

The number of people in hospital and intensive care due to COVID-19 has dropped, according to numbers released Sunday by Quebec's public health department, but the province also recorded an additional 72 deaths, the fourth-highest rise since the pandemic hit the province.

The deaths bring the total in Quebec to 877. There are now 18,357 confirmed cases, a rise of 836.

The number of people in hospital dropped to 1,102 from 1,130 a day earlier, while the number of people in intensive care fell from 258 to 183. ICU numbers were last this low 11 days ago.

Among the confirmed cases are at least 2,969 health-care workers across the province, according to a spokesperson with Quebec's Ministry of Health. Of those, 2,490 are public employees (such as those at hospitals other regional health facilities) and 479 work for private institutions.

Food bank demand has doubled in some rural areas

With most businesses still closed in the province, and unemployment escalating, more Quebecers are seeking the services of food banks.

Armand Kayolo, executive director of the food bank Moisson Outaouais, says demand has doubled in some rural areas of Quebec and increased by 50 per cent provincewide. 

He said the Moisson network usually serves about half a million people across Quebec through local food banks.

The increased workload, paired with the stress of trying to stay safe, is taking a psychological toll on employees.

"Our Moisson, we meet every morning" as a way of keeping spirits up, he said on CBC Montreal's All in a Weekend.

"We share our information, we share our experiences so that we can help each other."

Those in need of food can register with their local food bank.

Kayolo said food banks are looking for monetary donations and large donations of food.

The pandemic has also caused a shortage of volunteers. Moisson Montreal has suggested ways people can help here.

With files from CBC Montreal's All in a Weekend

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