Mississauga’s largest food bank urges residents to help it meet great need

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Published December 8, 2022 at 11:26 am

mississauga food bank
(Photo: The Mississauga Food Bank)

Food bank officials in Mississauga are urging people to bag a few groceries and drop them off at a donation event next week in support of the growing number of residents who need help putting food on the table.

The Mississauga Food Bank’s Holiday Drive-Thru Food Drive takes place on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the food bank, located at 3121 Universal Dr.

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The event is part of both the food bank’s ongoing efforts to raise enough food for its growing number of clients and Mayor Bonnie Crombie’s 2022 Holiday Food Drive.

“We will be collecting donations of our most-needed food items from everyone hosting a food-raising in our community and from our 12 Days of Giving activity, so get in on the festive fun and start gathering donations today,” food bank officials say on the organization’s website. “Together, we can raise $1.7 million and 450,000 pounds of food to ensure our neighbours in need have healthy and appropriate food this holiday season and into the new year.”

Food bank officials urge those who cannot take part in the drive-thru event to make a financial donation by visiting The Mississauga Food Bank website.

F0r those who plan on attending the drive-thru, officials provide several instructions:

  • for ease of traffic, turn onto Universal Dr. from Dundas St. E.
  • follow volunteers’ instructions as they direct you to the back of The Mississauga Food Bank
  • pull up to an unloading station
  • pop your trunk and wait for a volunteer to unload your generous donation. The volunteer will close your trunk for you once your donation has been received
  • follow volunteers’ instructions as they direct you out of the parking lot

Several weeks ago, the head of Mississauga’s largest food bank appeared before City council to sound the alarm as more and more city residents need help feeding their families and are falling even deeper into poverty.

Meghan Nicholls, CEO of The Mississauga Food Bank, told the mayor and councillors that the demand for food bank services is greater than ever as the holiday season approaches.

The food bank distributed food for more than 5.6 million meals in Mississauga in the last year, and that number is expected to grow.

“We’re working hard to keep up with the level of demand we’re now seeing, but to be honest, I’m concerned about the future,” said Nicholls, who appeared before City councillors to provide an update on the “critical need” in Mississauga and efforts to address that need, such as the mayor’s annual food drive.

Nicholls said The Mississauga Food Bank is growing so rapidly that it must move to a much larger location. In early 2023, it will move into its new digs at 4544 Eastgate Pkwy., just south of Eglinton Ave.

“It’s unfortunate we need to lease a new building. It’s twice the size of the one we’re currently leasing,” she said. “It’s costing us almost $1 million a year just to rent that facility, but we needed more room for more fresh food and for the services we provide.”

The mayor’s holiday food drive continues until Jan. 6. The goal is to raise $1.7 million and 450,000 pounds of food.

The Mississauga Food Bank is the city’s central food bank, with a network of more than 50 agencies. It has seen an almost 60 per cent increase in food bank users from before the pandemic.

The organization serves more than 30,000 people in need annually.

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