Nova Scotia

'Warms my heart': North Sydney food bank gets first-ever lobster donation

The food bank in North Sydney, N.S., has received a donation of 120 lobsters. The tasty crustaceans were donated by a local fisherman who is having a hard time selling his catch amid COVID-19.

'It means a lot to our clients. Most of them wouldn't have had an opportunity to have lobster'

A fisherman in North Sydney, N.S., donated 120 lobster to the local food bank after he was having trouble selling it. (Brent Kelloway/CBC)

The food bank in North Sydney, N.S., has received the first donation of lobster in its history.

A local fisherman who is having a tough time selling his catch because of the lack of demand amid COVID-19 decided to donate 120 lobsters to the North Sydney Food Bank.

Instead of floating the live lobsters until they can be sold, which could potentially leave the whole crate dead, the fisherman, who didn't want to be named, wanted to put them to good use in the community.

Lawrence Shebib, the director of the food bank, said he's never seen a donation like this.

"It means a lot to our clients. Most of them wouldn't have had an opportunity to have lobster," said Shebib.

Lawrence Shebib, the manager of the North Sydney food bank, bags up some lobster for clients. (Brent Kelloway/CBC)

Clients of the food bank had the option of picking up the lobster at the food bank, or having it delivered if they didn't have the means to get to the food bank.

The former MLA for the area, Eddie Orrell, helped arrange the donation. He said a fisherman contacted him and asked where he should donate some lobsters since he couldn't sell them.

"People are struggling, especially now with this pandemic," said Orrell. "So it feels good and warms my heart."

The lack of demand and the low price has led to a harsh season at some wharfs this fishing season.

Marlene Brogan, the manager of Ballast Grounds Fisheries in North Sydney, cooked the lobsters before they were donated to the food bank.

Marlene Brogan, the manager of the Ballast Ground Fisheries in North Sydney, N.S., said she hopes others who can't sell their catch will consider donating it instead. (Brent Kelloway/CBC)

She said the season is tough on the fishermen, but it's tough on the whole community.

She said she's glad to see something good happen with the lobster that can't be sold.

Brogan said she hopes others will follow suit.

"We need to support our community, so all fishers are invited to do that," said Brogan. "We have local food banks and in all our towns and communities, so it would be greatly appreciated."

In addition to lobster, the North Sydney Food Bank is also giving out $25 gift cards to its clients Friday to purchase personal care products.

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