By Chad Ingram
During the past two weeks the lake associations of Haliburton County have collectively donated more than $25000 to the county’s food banks as well as SIRCH Community Services.
Associations have been making donations and challenging others to do the same as demand at local food bank increases amid job layoffs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. SIRCH is offering a program providing frozen meals to community members. Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners’ Associations board chairman Paul MacInnes said more donations are expected to come in as associations share the campaign with their members via their social media channels websites and email blasts. MacInnes noted that while charity Canada Helps has created a fund-matching COVID-19 Community Care Fund to help food banks and other organizations the money donated there is put into a general pot rather than directed to specific organizations. MacInnes recommends
that individuals or associations donate directly to local organizations.
Joanne Barnes manager of the Minden Community Food Bank told the Times that demand is gradually increasing and is up about 20 per cent overall. “Regular clients are coming and now the newly unemployed and those who were expecting to get back to work now but can’t due to COVID-19” Barnes said. While the food bank has funds Barnes said that actually getting food is now posing a challenge due to a shortage of product. The food bank has been sourcing from a couple of wholesalers and was waiting on those shipments earlier this week. More than 225 families rely on Minden’s food bank. It remains open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The phone number for the Minden Community Food Bank is 705-286-6838.
“We are experiencing increased demand but so far this is manageable” David Ogilvie chairman of the board for Haliburton’s 4C Food Bank and Lily Ann told the Times . “Some food items are a little scarcer but again as usual our local grocery stores are assisting us.”
While the Lily Ann the food bank’s main source of income has been closed amid the pandemic Ogilvie noted a surge in donations is allowing it to meet the needs of the community.
“We have had good response from many caring folk in our community and significantly more response from cottage associations and individual cottagers than I can remember” Ogilvie wrote in an email to the Times . “It is difficult to express adequately the appreciation all of the county food banks have. The donations help relieve the initial financial pressures we felt when so many people began losing their jobs and began turning to us for help.”