Nova Scotia

Feed Nova Scotia sees huge influx of donations after appeal

Feed Nova Scotia's shelves are quite a bit more full, after the organization appealed to the public for urgent donations earlier this week.

'That's not to say that we're out of the red zone,' says executive director

Feed Nova Scotia says it was down to two to three days worth of donations. (CBC)

Feed Nova Scotia's shelves are quite a bit more full, after the organization appealed to the public for urgent donations earlier this week. 

"It's been like Christmas in July," executive director Nick Jennery said. 

In the last four days, people donated more than in the busiest two weeks leading up to Christmas, he said. 

"That's not to say that we're out of the red zone, but what it does say is that the public have responded tremendously," Jennery said. 

"There's been an endless stream of cars down here, just helping us out. It's a big motivating, inspirational time, but it's a big hill for us to climb, too."

Nick Jennery, Feed Nova Scotia executive director, says he's overwhelmed by the public support. (CBC)

Summers are hard

Feed Nova Scotia serves tens of thousands of clients around the province, but stocks have been "critically low," the group announced Tuesday.

Normally for a slow donation month like July, the group stocks up enough donations to last three to four weeks, Jennery said. Fewer people can donate in the summer, he said, being busy with vacation, short staffed workplaces and kids off school.

But Tuesday, stocks dropped down to two to three days' worth.

"That's when we hit — I won't say the panic button — but we went out to the public with an appeal," Jennery said.

Feed Nova Scotia's donations were critically low earlier this week. The group says it needs more still, but is better off now, thanks to public outpouring of support since Tuesday. (Carsten Knox/CBC)

Talking about scale

Around 80 food drives have been registered, a huge increase above a normal July calendar of 17, Jennery said. Large grocery chains, such as Superstore and Sobeys, are running food drives, as well. 

"What we're talking about is scale. We are grateful for each and every can that we get, but there are 44,000 Nova Scotians that need help right now, right today," Jennery said. "We need the big players involved, and they have responded."

Donations by individuals are essential, but donations from corporations such as grocery stores help the organization reach the scale needed, executive director Nick Jennery says. (CBC)

Grocery stores helping

Sobeys is matching up to $10,000 in monetary donations, as well.

"It's kind of an off season for [Feed Nova Scotia], so we wanted to make sure we took care of them every season," Queen Street Sobeys store manager Jody Carey said. 

Sobeys is matching donations up to $10,000. (CBC)

Mark Boudreau, Loblaw Atlantic's corporate affairs director, says Superstores have had "a flurry" of donations since Tuesday, and is holding a two-day drive this weekend. 

"We've been pretty humbled by the response by our customers so far," Boudreau said. "We have a responsibility in our community. ...When the call came out, we thought we could make a big difference here."

Atlantic Superstores are holding a food drive at all Nova Scotia locations this weekend. (CBC)

'Really hopeful' 

Jennery said he's personally overwhelmed by the public's generosity, especially from young families bringing their kids to the Bedford Highway warehouse. 

"You can't do this too many times, and we're really hopeful this is going to be enough," Jennery said.

"It's a very proud time to be a Nova Scotian."

With files from Paul Palmeter