The North Bay Food Bank received 50,000 thousand pounds more in food donations in 2020 than it did in 2019.
Debbie Marson, executive director of the food bank, says there were 172,720 pounds of food donated in 2020.
“I’m astounded by that number. I really felt the pandemic would push people not to support but it seems to be the exact opposite,” Marson said.
The final tally of food donations includes the physical food items donated to and collected by the food bank through the course of the year. It does not include monetary donations or gift cards.
The increase in donations coincided with a rise in demand for the food bank’s services. Marson says the food bank served over 4,000 homes in 2020 while adding 522 new clients.
“We need to make sure that people don’t take their foot off the gas pedal and they keep supporting with any means that they can,” Marson said. “We know the need is out there and we know the support is equally needed.”
With the volume of food being received, Marson says the food bank has been able to provide larger hampers than it normally would. Usually, a hamper would last a client up to three days and consist of the bare essentials such as eggs, bread and peanut butter.
Marson says she has been able to provide more food to her clients, ensuring that they don’t have to leave their homes more often than they need to.
When it comes to the types of food being donated, Marson says to consider items that would complement the bare essentials such as meal kits and condiments.
“Whatever you enjoy, someone else would enjoy,” she said.
As the pandemic crosses into 2021, Marson knows that the need for the food bank isn’t going to change any time soon.
“We’re here to help. Give us a call and we’ll walk you through the process,” she offered.