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Parkdale community helps cash-strapped food bank

Times are tough at the Parkdale Community Food Bank. So much so, the organization needs to raise $100,000 to ensure it can stay open.

The food bank has received almost $30,000 in donations, including $15,000 from an anonymous donor since Friday when officials announced it had only $308 in the bank,

Executive Director Robert Thorpe said the donor was born in Parkdale, grew up in relative poverty, is a research scientist after getting a PhD, and wanted to give back to her old community.

“That’s very touching,” he said.

Despite this burst of generosity, the food bank is still in tough shape. It needs $100,000 to keep to stay open.

Financial donations are the food bank’s only source of funding, with food coming from the Daily Bread and Second Harvest food banks.

Since the 2009 recession, demand for service has significantly increased, with most food banks seeing a jump of about 30 per cent. But Parkdale Community Food Bank has seen an increase of about 50 per cent, serving around 3,000 people a month.

Additionally, both financial and food donations tend to dry up in the summer months, because many people are on vacation.

“I’m on medical assistance right now. I don’t get very much money, and if I didn’t have the food bank, quite literally, not to be melodramatic, I would starve,” said Bernard Eccles.

To donate to the Parkdale Community Food Bank, click here or call (416) 532-2375.