United Way pleas for donations as COVID-19 crisis leads to increased demand for food

United Way of the Lower Mainland has sent out an urgent plea for help from the public as its agencies are struggling to keep up with the skyrocketing need for food during the COVID-19 crisis.

“I would say every week, every day it’s becoming more and more,” Kim Winchell, the organization’s director of social impact, says.

“People have been relying on some savings to get through a couple weeks, but as this drags on we’re seeing more and people reaching out.

“It’s really unprecedented to see people reaching out in this volume, this level of need where we have 98 per cent of our non-profit agencies telling us that they have an increase in people asking for food, it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.”

United Way’s 17 Local Love Food Hubs in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley provide groceries, food hampers, prepared meals, and supermarket gift cards for anyone in need of food.

The organization has plans to expand its food hubs program to 50 neighbourhoods in the next month.

To fund the expansion, United Way has launched an immediate and urgent appeal to raise $1 million.

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Winchell hopes they can raise the funds in a month.

“The global pandemic has created a huge increase in people seeking support for themselves and their families and we’re working hard to develop solutions to address this sweeping need.”

To learn more and to donate visit the United Way website here.

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