The Salvation Army in Fort Erie Meeting Increased Community Demand

food hampers and salvation army officer hands bag of food to client

More food hampers are being distributed to vulnerable individuals and families in Fort Erie compared to pre-pandemic numbers and The Salvation Army is there to provide any level of community support.

Anne Watters, Community and Family Services Manager at The Salvation Army Food Bank in Fort Erie, says usage during the pandemic has increased by 30 per cent.

“We normally average about 300 people accessing the food bank; now we’re seeing between 400 and 500 people every single month,” Anne says.

“I saw that we were getting a new group of people without school-age children.”

“When I looked at the numbers, I saw that we were getting a new group of people without school-age children. They are couples, families with older children or parents with babies. I’m surprised the number of people didn’t go up even more.”

Anne points out that the end of government benefit programs, job loss and businesses closing has led to greater demand at the Food Bank, but there is no shortage of food available to hand out by The Salvation Army in Fort Erie.

Over March Break, the Niagara Regional Police Service supported several agencies, including The Salvation Army, during their annual Spring Food Drive, in partnership of several grocery stores in Niagara Region.

“We’re very fortunate with all the community support we receive and we’re very grateful for our innovative partnerships. People here do the best they can to help us provide hope to our community’s most vulnerable,” Anne says.

The Fort Erie Salvation Army Food Bank is open for hamper pick up on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 3:30 pm. Clients can come once per month, but exceptions can be made, depending on the need. Anne says baby food is in high demand, so donations of meat and vegetable baby food products are needed at the Food Bank.

Non-perishable food donations can be dropped off in Fort Erie at Sobeys on Garrison Road, The Salvation Army Community and Family Services office at 255 Gilmore Road, or at the Thrift Store at 84 Wintermute Street.