Food pantries in Ottawa are being closed due to a lack of demand, as some residents are trying to cut back on food.
As a result, the Salvation Army has closed its Food Pantry in the Rideau Centre and the Ottawa Kitchen.
“Food pantries are a vital source of food assistance for Ottawa,” said Mark Wark, president of the Salvation Association of Canada.
“This is not an emergency and we are very aware of the need for people to take care of themselves and families.”
He said there is a shortage of people to assist with the supply.
The Ottawa Kitchen is the Salvation army’s food pantries largest food bank.
Its staff has been overwhelmed with calls from residents, who are asking them to take a small part of their food donations to the pantry.
Food pantylists said they were overwhelmed with requests from residents wanting to give up a portion of their groceries, but couldn’t cope.
“We’re just trying to keep our staff busy and make sure that we’re providing them with the best services they can, while at the same time supporting them financially,” said Denise Sorenson, executive director of the Ottawa Food Pantries.
The food pantylist has already been asked to close two locations in the downtown core.
Sorensson said the Salvation is still assessing how many people will be needed for the two locations, which are located at the corner of Dufferin Street and Queen Street East.
She said that if demand is low, she will ask for a small increase to the amount they are asking for.
She urged people to donate more to the food panty and take part in its programs.
“I’m hoping that our customers will help us to build on our success,” Sorensons statement said.
The Salvation Army said in an email that the locations are not close to full capacity.
It said they are providing meals for those who need them and that they are taking steps to ensure that food is available at the locations.
“Our staff is working diligently to support our pantry and to provide those in need with the necessary resources,” it said.
“The Ottawa Kitchen will continue to operate to provide our food to those in our community who need it.”
The Salvation army said they will be able to offer meals and groceries at the Dufferine Street location if demand for food is not too high.
With files from The Canadian Press