Toronto·Video

How Toronto Public Library branches are becoming food banks during COVID-19

The Daily Bread Food Bank’s clients have increased by 53 per cent, now Toronto libraries are stepping up to open their doors and offer space to become pop up food banks.

More than 100 library staff are participating in the initiative, packing between 500-600 food hampers per day

Volunteers sorting through food for the Daily Bread Food Bank. (Daily Bread Food Bank)

A number of Toronto Public Library branches are turning into food banks as the need skyrockets during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A lot of the staff volunteered to work in the branches they normally work [at], so they know the community," said Gail MacFayden, an area manager with Toronto Public Library.

More than 100 library staff are participating in the initiative, packing between 500-600 food hampers per day.

The initiative comes as the Daily Bread Food Bank reports its clients have increased by 53 per cent. More than 40 per cent of Toronto's food bank programs have closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're seeing a lot of people who, over the course of the last month, have been laid off," said Daily Bread's CEO, Neil Hetherington.

The library plans to keep the pop-up food banks open until the pandemic is over.

WATCH | CBC Toronto's Talia Ricci with what it's like for library staff to turn their branches into food banks:

Toronto Public Library branches are turning into food banks, as the need skyrockets during the pandemic. 1:57

 

 

with files from Talia Ricci

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