Food bank usage rises

The West Hill Community Services food bank may not be able to feed all its needy customers if the recent increased usage continues, food bank workers warn.

Usage was up 25 per cent this January over January 2008, according to figures from the service.

“There is always an increase during the winter months, but now even more because people lost jobs,” food bank worker Heather Urbansky said. “It has been high since October.”

If usage continues to increase at this rate, the service will not be able to meet the need, Urbansky said.

Nearly 5,000 people came to the food bank at Galloway and Lawrence roads for food hampers in January.

The West Hill food bank is the largest in Toronto. It is open on Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon. All of food at West Hill is provided by the Daily Bread Food Bank, located  in the city’s west end.

St. Ninian’s food bank on Bellamy Avenue is open for three hours on Wednesdays and Tuesdays. To use this food bank, one has to be a Canadian citizen, have proof of residence and show identification.