As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact food banks and their ability to provide essential food to those in need, CAA Niagara has launched a community-wide food drive, dubbed The Big Food Boost, to support the fight against hunger. This intiaitve calls for Niagara residents to leave non-perishables on their doorstep on Saturday, August 28th for collection by a group of volunteers.
“CAA Niagara has had the pleasure of working with and providing support to many community partners over the years, and we ramped up those efforts throughout the pandemic. We want to help in every way we can,” said Peter Van Hezewyk, President and CEO of CAA Niagara. “This food drive presents the opportunity for not only our club to continue that good work, but for all of us to come together as a community to help the people and families within Niagara who need food and need it fast.”
On average, food banks have seen a 20 percent increase in the need for their services and a 50 percent decline in donations since the beginning of the pandemic. Despite the vaccine’s rapid rollout, many families are still facing food insecurity and food agencies are struggling to keep up with the demand. Recently, local food banks reported that a significant spike in visits to their facilities is also expected once the Canada Recovery Benefit expires in September. In light of these challenging times, The Big Food Boost will set out to collect non-perishables from both CAA Members and non-Members in each community within Niagara with the donations being divided between eight food agencies across the region.
Those who wish to participate by putting a non-perishable donation outside their home can pre-register for pick-up at caaniagara.ca/bigfoodboost. Registration is open through Monday, August 16th. Non-perishables should be placed outside by 9:00 am on August 28th. CAA Niagara will also be accepting walk-in food donations at its five Branches (Thorold, Welland, St. Catharines, Grimsby, and Niagara Falls) between August 23rd–28th during its regular hours of operation. Residents are not required to pre-register to drop off non-perishables at a club Branch.
The Big Food Boost is part of CAA Niagara’s Big Boost, which was initially launched as a one-time extension of the club’s annual Community Boost program in 2020. Big Boost has since been revived for 2021 and will see a total of $100,000 donated to 14 pre-selected local charities, in addition to the food drive.
To learn more about The Big Food Boost and see a list of recommended food items, please visit caaniagara.ca/bigfoodboost.
(Source: CAA Niagara release)