Petrolia food bank facing summer shortages

Sandra Hartman of the Petrolia Food Bank

When Sandra Hartman looks at the boxes in the storage area of the Petrolia Food Bank, she wonders how long it will last.

There used to be boxes stacked high filled with canned goods, but those stacks are a lot lower as the summer months tick by.

Hartman says during the summer, people tend to forget about the food need in the community. “A lot of people go out and about camping or for a vacation and forget,” she says. “When the kids are in school there are often food drives and that helps but when they’re out for the summer, there are no reminders.”

And she says young families needs increase in the summer. “More kids at home means they need more food.”

Hartman says there is still some food coming in; local churches take turns providing canned goods and the Western Ontario Outlaw Lawnmower racers collect food at the gate on race day, but it is not enough to sustain the need which has grown even though there are two new food banks serving the outlying area – one in Watford, the other in Alvinston.

Clients are beginning to notice the difference. The food boxes are a little lighter than normal. “If we have it, it will go in the box but people will get less food in the box,” she says adding most people understand.

Hartman is asking people to consider a summer donation. They can be dropped off at Heidi’s Independent Grocer or at the Food Bank on Petrolia Line between 9 and 11:30 am on Mondays. Or you can call the food bank to make other arrangements.

Items which are needed most include: soda crackers, jam, peanut butter, mixed canned meats (tuna. salmon, flakes of chicken , turkey & ham) instant noodles, instant potatoes, hamburger helper, snack crackers (cereal (lg & small boxes) any baking items, any household cleaning products, lunch snacks for kids as well as juice boxes, juice crystals or canned/bottled juices.