Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will be providing $100 million to food banks across the country as Canadians face widespread layoffs and financial uncertainty.
Trudeau said during a morning news briefing on Friday (April 3) that the funds will help the “urgent food needs” of Canadians struggling to put meals on the table as they wait for the suite of federal emergency benefits to kick in.
Late last month, the B.C. government announced $3 million through the provincial community grant program to be distributed to food banks provincewide, to pay for food but also pay employees and cover other essential costs.
Laura Lansink, Food Banks BC executive director, said that grant would make a “tremendous impact” to ensure food banks keep their doors open.
These organizations have been seeing a surge in demand due to widespread layoffs across the province. In addition to filling their shelves, Lansink has said food banks – which are typically run by volunteers – have been struggling with the balance between day-to-day operations and implementing appropriate social distancing protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
She said some branches have a drive-thru service, others deliver pre-packaged hampers to clients’ cars in the parking lot, as well as home delivery.
More to come.