Demand for food in the Queen City has grown over the last few months since the COVID-19 pandemic began. According to the Regina Food Bank, food bank usage in the city is up 46 per cent.
At a time when securing food for residents in need has reached a critical stage, the Regina Food Bank, along with The Mosaic Company and the Saskatchewan Roughriders, have teamed up to launch the Mosaic Million Meal Challenge. The month-long challenge calls on citizens to help secure a million meals for Regina families for the fall and winter months.
“If we can raise that much food, that will most likely take us through to a place where we are very comfortable,” explained John Bailey, CEO of the Regina Food Bank. “It would be about January or potentially early February, depending on what usage looks like.”
The Mosaic Company is kickstarting the challenge by matching all donations up to 150,000 meals.
Due to COVID-19, the food bank has had to come up with different ways for people to get involve and donate to their food drive this year. The month-long challenge will include a corporate and community challenge along with a drive thru food drive on October 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Evraz Place.
Donors at the drive thru event can expect a socially distanced drop-off and are encouraged to bring in-demand, non-perishable food items like pasta, canned vegetables and fruit and canned soup.
Bailey said this challenge is a small step to help build up their stockpiles so shelves aren’t bare during their busier months.
“We are seeing almost three and a half times as many new people come through our doors that we have never seen before request our services,” added Bailey. “Now, two of every five people we serve are children.”
Every day in October, the food bank will be featuring “Community & Corporate Champions” inspiring and showing others how to get involved and the Million Meal Challenge. More information can be found at the food bank’s website.