HOL Food bank use rises 30 per cent in two weeks

Seen in above photo: HOL Food Bank assistant Marianne Villemaire and HOL manager of client services Kim Merkley. Courtesy photo

MOUNTAIN — Food bank use has increased by 30 per cent in the past two weeks.

The House of Lazarus (HOL) has seen a dramatic increase in food bank visits during the last two weeks of March, executive director Cathy Ashby said.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mountain-based charity has made some necessary changes, including a change in service hours. Currently, the food bank can be accessed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Non-perishable food hampers are being given out, along with fresh produce, eggs, milk, bread, and meat. A new recipe, using typical food bank items, will be posted to HOL’s Facebook page daily.

Operation Backpack, an HOL outreach program that provides food to at-risk students each Friday throughout the school year, is continuing to run. The only change in this program is pick-up location. With schools closed, Operation Backpack recipients can pick up bags at either House of Lazarus in Mountain or in the lobby of the South Dundas Municipal Centre in Morrisburg on Fridays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. If families need more food than what is typically provided, they should contact HOL directly at 613-989-3830 during food bank hours.

At this time, both stores and the drop-off depot are closed, as per the government’s directive to close non-essential services. A few employees remain on site to keep the food bank and Operation Backpack running for those in need. If you or anyone you know is in need of our help, please call HOL directly or visit the food bank during open hours.

“We are thankful that the community continues to support us so that we can help those in need,” Ashby said.

To make a monetary donation, please use the Canada Helps link on our website (houseoflazarus.com) or e-transfer to jcarkner@houseoflazarus.com. The password question: what are we buying? The answer: food.

To make a donation of non-perishable food items, please phone or visit HOL during food bank hours.

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