COVID pandemic creates greater need for food in Kitchener

kitchener (WPVI) – You don’t have to look far to see the effects of the pandemic this vacation. Dozens of West Kitchener residents left a free Turkey giveaway empty-handed Thursday night.

“We didn’t even get up to the door. We were on the corner and they told us the turkeys were out,” said Christina Potter.

You don’t have to look far to see the effects of the pandemic. So many West Kitchener residents came to get a free turkey that some were left empty-handed. @CouncilmemberJG will have five more free turkey giveaways before Thanksgiving for residents in need @ 6abc pic.twitter.com/NOapRkLB1q

– Christie Ileto (@Christie_Ileto) November 20, 2020

Hundreds of people snaked around the block on 62nd and Cedar Avenues.

One hundred and fifty turkeys were given out in less than an hour. This is the first of six grocery giveaways organized by Councilor Jamie Gauthier to help those in need.

“We went out pretty quickly,” said Stephanie Brownie, communications director at Gauthier. “With the pandemic, it just shows how great the need is here in our West Kitchener community.”

The area’s largest hunger relief organization, Philabundance, tells Action News in a typical year that they are distributing 28 million pounds of food. They have spent £ 30 million in the last six months of this pandemic.

“With the recent new restrictions and we think unemployment rates are rising and people are choosing, ‘Do I pay my rent, utilities, or do I buy groceries?'” Said Loree Jones, CEO of Philabundance.

Philabundance also needs donations to keep up with the demand for help.

“We are counting on things like Camp Out, everyday people who send in donations large and small to help meet those needs,” said Jones.

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