Without a doubt, COVID-19 was a trying time for the food bank network, with surges in food bank use beginning back in March 2020 and estimated to continue past the economic reopening. However, food banks responded and adapted in ways to better serve the community and provide their services at a time when they were even more imperative and necessary.
For one, Feed Ontario noticed a decrease in food bank visits and attributed this not only to the emergency response benefit implemented by the government, but also to pop-up food banks which had opened up in communities to aid with community food needs. In addition to this, there were programs established within communities where families were provided with grocery gift cards. As such, Feed Ontario describes the downtrend of food bank visits as a redistribution of need, not a decrease in need; instead, communities at large were beginning to step in and help those who needed it.
Similarly, the JRCC Kosher Food Bank adapted to better serve the community during COVID-19. As several other food banks did during the pandemic, we created a delivery service to ensure food hampers were accessible to all clients, so that clients were not expected to come directly to the warehouse. This policy benefited seniors and those with financial or physical limitations.
It is important to realize that the work does not stop with the gradual reopening of the province and the vaccination of individuals, and even more important to ensure that the good work accomplished during the pandemic remains constant as we cautiously make our way out of it. Though the pandemic was tough on the wallet, the body, and the mind, it brought communities together and forced them to help each other.
At the JRCC, community is important, and we promise to keep the good work going. If you can, donate; every amount matters. If you need assistance, contact us at 416-222-7105 x293, and we will help you.