Volunteers prep Thanksgiving meals with food insecurity on the rise

Barrie, Ontario. –

It is this time of year when many get ready to sit down over turkey dinner and say thanks.

But for some, Thanksgiving is also a reminder of the challenges of bringing food to the table.

“This is the time when many come together and gather around the table. Unfortunately, there are many people in our community who do not have the money to buy the holiday bonus, ”said the general manager of The. Sharing Place Food Center, Chris Peacock.

It’s one of the busiest times of the year at The Sharing Place Food Center in Orillia.

“Thanksgiving is just around the corner. People are coming in. Everyone wants food for the weekend,” said volunteer Karen Low-On.

For the past two days, volunteers have helped prepare hand-cooked meals in time for the holidays.

“We made turkey, dressing, puree, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts,” said Low-On.

Over 300 dinners go out the doors, a record for the table that is seeing a dramatic increase in demand.

“September was our busiest month of the year, and October is heading in that direction,” Peacock said. “That means we have to build capacity, that means more food, that means we have to build capacity.”

According to Feed Ontario, the number of people using food banks had increased even before COVID-19.

“People need more money to afford Thanksgiving, and that’s what’s happening right now because people aren’t making enough money,” Peacock said.

But with community donations, tons of volunteers, and partners like the Anglican Church of Saint James, many will still experience the spirit of Thanksgiving.

“The fact that we made a really good quality meal and could cook it for less than $ 1 a serving was a great achievement for this team,” said Nancy Hannah, program coordinator for Meals 4 Change.

In Barrie too, the Salvation Army is preparing its turkey meal and is expecting more than ever.

This year it has increased by more than 36,000 meals compared to the previous year.

“We are on the rise now, so we have already started increasing our preparation so that we have plenty of food for those in search of a meal,” said Major Stephanie Watkinson, Salvation Army executive director.

The turkey meal can be picked up from the Salvation Army on Sunday between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

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