Desperate Parkdale food bank gets $15,000 donation
Published Monday, July 18, 2011 12:36PM EDT
A downtown Toronto food bank is facing clean shelves and empty bank accounts on Monday, and says it could be forced to close if they don't get some substantial donations soon.
The Parkdale Community Food Bank says it needs to raise $100,000 in short order, or else its doors could close for good.
Executive Director Robert Thorpe has been begging the public for donations to help keep the food bank stocked with supplies to deliver to low-income families.
"As of Friday we had $308 in the bank. Our rent for next month was not available. My paycheque for this week was not available," Thorpe told CTV Toronto.
"If the food bank were to close, it would have a devastating effect on a great number in the community who are forced to choose between paying their rent and buying food."
Until recently the food bank wasn't even sure it could cover next month's rent. On Sunday, a woman who used to live in the Parkdale neighbourhood promised the food bank a $15,000 donation. She also said she would match any future donations.
The Parkdale Community Food Bank has seen demand for its services nearly double since the recession started in 2009. It now provides fresh and non-perishable food to as many as 2,800 people each month.
But while the demand has grown, monetary donations have dried up. The food bank does not receive funding from any level of government and relies on individual donations to keep running.
Thorpe says summer is a hard time to drum up support. While people become very charitable during the holiday season, the summer months tend to be more about relaxing at the lake.
Roberto Russo has been a volunteer driver at the food bank for three years and says he has never seen it in such dire straights.
"I worry a lot about these people because they are starving. We are doing our best to feed them, but in a time like this it breaks our heart," Russo said.
For information on how to donate, click this link.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Michelle Dube