© Photo TC Media - Rob Amyot
The emergency stock at On Rock Community Services is quickly depleting, The Chronicle has learned.
A key food bank serving the West Island community is running low on supply.
In fact, the situation is so dire at On Rock Community Services that the food bank’s emergency stock is near empty.
According to the organization’s founder, Kim Reid, “our non-perishables are very close to non-existent.”
As a result, On Rock is pleading for West Island associations, companies, sports teams and the general public to hold food drives for what has long been one of the area’s leading food banks. “We really need the help right now,” said Reid, adding the closure of Moisson Montreal, a pick-up destination for the food bank, over the long week did not help either.
This time last year, the Pierrefonds-based food bank was able to use its rather large Christmas reserve until July. This year, Reid said he’d be lucky to get to the end of May with the current supply.
“We need to realize poverty is not just a Christmas thing. People need help year-long. The generosity needs to continue year-long,” Reid added.
Though the slowdown associated with the months following a busy Christmas season for food banks is normal, the empty shelves is not enough to feed the 200 families – up from 17 per cent since the same time last year – which visit On Rock weekly.
“Most people in the West Island don’t understand the poverty in the West Island. It’s growing,” he added.
At West Island Assistance Fund (WIAF), the situation is a little different. Though shelves are depleting, the Roxboro-based food bank executive director Claudine Campeau said it should last another two months.
“We’re not panicking at the moment,” said Campeau. “We have enough for our clients.”
The WIAF, she said, has seen a rise in the amount of families it serves weekly to 200. Campeau, however, couldn’t confirm the amount of families the food bank served this time last year.
At On Rock, though Reid is indeed seeing the usual suspects from Pierrefonds, more residents from Dollard des Ormeaux are frequenting his food bank.
“More people are being laid off,” Reid said. “…Most of us take a look at our wallets and we say we need to tighten up a bit. Other people under the same circumstance can’t. It’s either paying rent or buying food.”
For information on how to donate non-perishable food to the food bank, call 514-696-1905, or visit onrock.org and their facebook page at facebook.com/onrockcommunityservices.
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