Manitoba Daily

Friday, September 30, 2022

Harvest Manitoba is experiencing unprecedented demand for assistance

Key takeaways:

  • Harvest Manitoba is experiencing record-high demand for its services in the face of economic uncertainty, job losses, and price inflation.

In the face of economic uncertainty, job losses, and price inflation, Harvest Manitoba sees record-high demand for its services.

“It’s putting the squeeze on low-income families, seniors on fixed incomes, and people with health issues and disabilities,” said Vince Barletta, president and CEO of Harvest Manitoba.

According to Barletta, Harvest Manitoba has seen a 75 percent increase in first-time hamper clients in the last three months compared to the same quarter in 2020.

Also read: On Tuesday, 164 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Manitoba, with two deaths

Furthermore, Harvest Manitoba’s services are in high demand, with the holiday season in full swing.

“Every Christmas, the need grows and grows throughout our community,” Barletta said. “Through Harvest’s various programs, we will be feeding close to 85,000 people this month.”

Food hampers are distributed, soup kitchens are stocked, and meal and snack programs are facilitated. The organization estimates that it will require approximately one million pounds of food per month to provide these services.

Harvest Manitoba is experiencing a surge in volunteer queries
Harvest Manitoba is experiencing a surge in volunteer queries. Image from GlobalNewswire

According to Barletta, Manitobans’ food insecurity will worsen next year.

Overall food prices are expected to rise five to seven percent in 2022, according to the 12th edition of Canada’s Food Price Report.

“This demand is only going to rise, and we’re seeing it for our needy families all over Manitoba.”

Harvest Manitoba is requesting assistance.

The organization is looking for volunteers and food and monetary donations from the community.

Harvest Manitoba’s community engagement director, Grace Weigelt, said the pandemic has resulted in a significant drop in volunteerism, and there is a great need for assistance.

“Every single day, we need about 100 volunteers to help us sort food donations, pack hampers, and drive our trucks,” Weigelt said.

She estimates that each day only about 50 volunteers are available.

“We need to see that number rise so we can help feed Manitobans who are hungry,” she said.

Source: CTV News

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