New Brunswick

Food banks feeling the pinch

Food banks in southeastern New Brunswick are struggling with the annual post-Christmas slump in donations.

Food banks in southeastern New Brunswick are struggling with the annual post-Christmas slump in donations.

At the same time, they say demand is rising.

Bertha Darling, the general manager of the Moncton Food Bank, says many of her clients are facing some tough decisions these days.

"With the cost of heat, the rents and everything going up, sometimes they have to make a choice. Do I pay my rent and my heat – or do I eat?"

Darling says they have to pay their bills, so their only real option is to rely on the food bank.

"Often it's going to be that they're going to pay their rent and their lights and hope that we're going to be able to help them have food," she says.

In the past, that would be a fairly safe bet.

But maybe not this year.

Darling says the food banks are seeing their supplies run very low on the shelves.

Not only is there strong demand in these winter months, Darling says donations tend to drop off dramatically.

And this year, she says many New Brunswickers gave generously to the tsunami relief efforts in southeast Asia and may decide their charity budget is spent.

Darling is hoping people will think of their tsunami donations as an additional gift, rather than an alternative to supporting local causes.

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