Ottawa Food Bank surpasses one-day donation record

The Ottawa Food Bank received a record-setting one-day donation of nearly 95 tonnes of food on June 15. The initiative was led by students in six different schools with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and humanitarian relief charity Khalsa Aid Canada.

The previous one-day donation record, set in 2013 at 63 tonnes, was significantly surpassed by this effort.

Rachael Wilson, CEO of the Ottawa Food Bank, said the donation will support over 100 agencies the food bank works with.

However, she also said there is a need for long-term solutions through improved social assistance programs.

"More food is wonderful, but it's really not the solution. So while we're incredibly grateful we're really pushing and hope that governments will start to make changes.," Wilson said.

'People are suffering'

Yesterday's drop-off event saw a fleet of tractor-trailers arriving at the Ottawa Food Bank's warehouse, where volunteers, including students, unloaded the food. Khalsa Aid matched the donations collected through the drive.

In partnership with students from six schools in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and with the support of Italfoods, Khalsa Aid Canada launched its food drive at the beginning of June.
In partnership with students from six schools in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and with the support of Italfoods, Khalsa Aid Canada launched its food drive at the beginning of June. (Nelly Albérola/Radio-Canada)

"We shouldn't need food banks. But the food bank demand itself has been going up," said Gobindbir Singh, a project manager with Khalsa Aid Canada.

Singh said the need for assistance from the Ottawa Food Bank has increased in the city by 40 per cent.

"That means 40 per cent more visits. That means people are suffering," he added.

The food bank plans on distributing some of the collected donations to the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation.