The need for help seems larger now than it has been in a long time.
According to the UHC Hub of Opportunities, there have been over 92,000 food bank visits this year at their main building and in the parking lot at Adie Knox Herman Arena where the lines for food have been long.
“Mostly are newer clients that never used a food bank,” said Ali Bazzi, warehouse coordinator. “I’ve been working for UHC for about fifteen years. I’ve never seen it like this in my life.”
According to recent numbers, the UHC saw the number of new food bank users grow by 48 per cent, or 5,526 people, over last year.
Once a donor and now a client is a stat Krystle Bryan and many others do not want to be part of.
“You don’t want to be. You really don’t want to be but it’s life right now,” she said.
The mother of six has been overwhelmed by the rise in the cost of food to feed her family.
“With my fixed income there’s no way I’m able to feed my family and they get all the nutrients that they need,” she explained.
This is why she is in line for help, and told CTV News Windsor, “They help out. The groceries are wonderful and I’m so grateful but at the same time it’s still not even enough.”
Other food banks like St Vincent De Paul are feeling the pinch and appreciate any and all donations. Jen Wilson, outreach coordinator, received a $1,000 dollar donation from 93.9 morning show hosts Hannah and Jonny on Wednesday.
“The thing they want the most that just so happens to be on sale is tuna fish,” Wilson explained. “We can get a thousand cans of tuna fish for this. A thousand cans is going to fill those two buggies and this cart behind us.”
Bryan hopes others can and will lend a helping hand during these challenging times.
“Because you have just help feed my family and so many others,” she said.
Wilson added there is no better feeling when delivering food to an appreciative family.
“To see the relief on the parents’ faces knowing that for a few days they’ve got some food to get through the times and that their children are genuinely happy and they don’t feel the stress. It warms the coldest of hearts,” she said.