A cool, wet summer has left the Ottawa Food Bank high and dry when it comes to fresh produce.
This weekend they're working to help fix that.
The Food Bank will be set up at four local grocery stores this Saturday, for its first ever fresh food drive.
Executive Director Michael Maidment says each store will have a list of items that are in demand.
“We’re definitely looking for the things that have the shelf life,” Maidment says. “Those are the things that will last here in the warehouse. So, items like carrots and potatoes and those staples that a lot of families use in their day-to-day cooking, but we’re open to any kind of fruit or vegetable that people want to donate to us.”
The constant rain and cooler temperatures have left the Food Bank with a projected 25,000 fewer pounds of fresh food this harvest season.
Maidment says the Food Bank normally collects non-perishables from the community, but the need for fresh food is great.
“It’s in line with a lot of the work we’ve been doing over the last couple of years to get more fruit, more vegetables, more protein, and fresh items into the mix here at the Food Bank,” he says. “So, this will be the first time that we’ll actually specifically focus on fresh food.”
Refrigerated trucks will be on hand to keep the produce chilled during the food drive.
Maidment says cash donations will also be accepted during the food drive, or any time on the Food Bank’s website.
The drive runs this Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the following locations:
- Loblaws Merivale – 1460 Merivale Road
- Metro Convent Glen – 6509 Jeanne D’Arc Blvd
- Superstore Westboro – 190 Richmond Road
- FreshCo – 4750 Bank Street
If you miss the drive, Maidment says they accept fresh donations at their warehouse at 1317 Michael Street.