The North York Harvest Food Bank has extended its spring food drive by a week in an effort to reach its goal of collecting 72,000 lbs. of food.

Anette Chawla, the food bank's executive director, said so far the organization has raised about half of its goal.

"We still have a ways to go," she said in a news release on Sunday. "That's why we're extending our food drive until April 16 in order to give more time for residents to donate."

Chawla said the impact of the economic recession has increased the demand for assistance by 20 per cent. Last year, North York Harvest distributed 160,000 hampers of food last year to residents living in Toronto communities that have been identified as having limited access to social services and homes with a lower income base.

Volunteers spent Easter long weekend sorting food bank donations at its Lawrence Avenue West warehouse.

North York Harvest is Toronto's second-largest food bank. According to the organization:

  • 40 per cent of food bank users are under 18 years of age
  • The median monthly household income of food bank users is about $1,000.
  • More than 50 per cent of food bank users have been in Canada for less than five years

Those who wish to donate non-perishable food items can do so at fire halls across North York as well as participating supermarkets.

Online cash donations can also be made to help the food bank purchase food.

For a complete list of drop-off locations, please click here.