PEI

Charlottetown food bank thinking long term as demand continues to increase

More people are turning to the Upper Room Food Bank in Charlottetown as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, says executive director Mike MacDonald.

12 new families signed up in 1 day last week as pandemic hits 2-month mark

Mike MacDonald, executive director of the Upper Room Food Bank, says any help would be appreciated in the months ahead. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

More people are turning to the Upper Room Food Bank in Charlottetown as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, says executive director Mike MacDonald.

A dozen new families signed up last Friday alone, he said, and long-term planning is underway.

"I don't think it's something that we're going to bounce back from very quickly," he said. 

"We have to prepare to see rising numbers over the next year or more and find more sources of food and sources of income as well that we can turn into food."

MacDonald said government programs are helpful, but the money isn't going far enough for some families. 

Food supply issues, such as storage, are being worked on daily with grocery stores, farmers and processors, and MacDonald said any help will be appreciated for the months ahead.

"Storage and everything … are things that we're looking at," MacDonald said. "Both dry storage and refrigerated storage as well."

The global pandemic was declared on March 11. P.E.I. lost more than 9,000 jobs in April as many businesses were shut down and others hadn't opened for the tourist season.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Angela Walker

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