Moncton’s only food bank struggling to meet demand as usership increases – New Brunswick
Christine Taylor, the general manager of New Brunswick’s largest food bank says they’re struggling to meet demand.
The Peter McKee Community Food Centre is the only food bank in Moncton.
“Right now we’re at about 200 appointments a day and we’re having trouble managing that amount of people,” Taylor said on Tuesday.
“People are leaving with less food than they used to.”
Anyone who resides in Moncton can use the food bank, but if they need to do so more than once a month, they have to fill out an application that includes financial information.
This needs to be processed by staff who are struggling to keep up.
There are currently 93 pending applications, and Taylor said it may take up to a week to get them done.
“We only have so many slots in a day with appointments, we’ve already extended them. We’re open earlier and later, we’re possibly considering another evening,” Taylor said.
Taylor said more people from groups who hadn’t typically used the food banks in the past were now accessing them, like those with full-time employment, seniors, and international students.
On Monday, Taylor made a presentation to city council about the difficulties the center was facing, and asked for municipal funding to cover security costs.
Taylor said the centre dealt with threats and other concerning behaviour while the out of the cold shelter located at the former Lion’s Community Centre next door was in operation last winter.
The site is currently being used as a an out of the cold hub for those experiencing homelessness, moving to 24 hour operations on Dec. 1.
Taylor said the centre is currently paying for security using part of their food budget, and wants the city to assume the cost for security around the clock in December.
City of Moncton spokesperson Isabelle LeBlanc said in an emailed statement : “The City is not in a position to offer to cover the costs of private security for a resident, business, or not for profit organization; (the Peter McKee community food centre) is not a municipal service.”
Taylor said the centre is requesting more funding from both the province and city, as well as applying for various grants to cover increased costs.
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