OTTAWA -- Charities and agencies that support many Ottawa residents are feeling the pinch because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Groups like Canadian Blood Services and the Ottawa Food Bank are just a few of the agencies across the city raising concerns that amid the global pandemic, they will trouble meeting their everyday demands.

The Ottawa Food Bank says on average about 39,000 people walk through their 26 locations across the city. Communications Director Rachel Wilson says with Ottawa residents expected to have their work hours cut and even losing their jobs, they expect that number to climb.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen with our numbers this month,” says Wilson. “There will be more people using it and that’s why we’re hoping the community will step up to support.”

Wilson says the red bins the Ottawa Food Bank has at grocery store locations across the city were “empty” over the weekend, as residents worked to fill their own shelves at home. She says she understands that right now it’s tough to pick up extra items at the store, and people can instead donate what they can online.

“Every year we’re able to take a dollar and turn it into about $5 of delivered food. So if people can donate to us we’re able to continue that,” she explains. “We’re working with our supplies and manufacturers… so this way we’re guaranteed we’ll have food.”

Another need is blood donations.

Across the country, Canadian Blood Services says there has been a “worrying” spike in cancellations of appointments to donate blood amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the need is still there, as donated blood is only viable for up to 42 days. They insist it’s safe to donate.

“Donating blood in Canada continues to be safe. Our robust cleaning and infection-control practices protect all donors, staff and volunteers,” the agency said. “All prospective donors are also carefully screened for any symptoms of illness, including very mild ones.”

To make an appointment you can visit the Canadian Blood Services website