Food bank users up 14%
The House of Lazarus Food Bank has seen a considerable bump in clients. (Jennifer Westendorp, myprescottnow.com staff)
The House of Lazarus (HOL) Food Bank has seen a considerable bump in clients. Food bank users increased 14% from 2018 to 2019. A total of 280 families accessed the food bank last year, representing 680 people.
Client Services Manager Kim Merkley says she thinks the increase has to do with the price of everything, ranging from fresh produce to housing. She noted people are fortunate to find a rental under $1,000 per month.
The HOL offers a variety of programs to help meet needs, including Dinner on the House, which is a free community meal held every Thursday. Over 3,300 meals were served last year. Operation Backpack is another program that helps address the growing need, by providing food for over 100 local students to take home every weekend.
Executive Director Cathy Ashby says the reality for food bank clients is that 71% have a household income of $18,000 or less. She noted 92% of clients have a household income of less than $30,000. Ashby says trying to make ends meet, living rurally, is extremely difficult.
The HOL serves people from South Grenville, North Grenville, North Dundas and South Dundas. For more information about the organization, click here.