Martha’s Table held its annual empty bowls fundraiser on Sunday. It helps raise money for meal programs for those in need, and this year’s couldn’t have come at a better time.
It was a full house and those who stopped in got the chance to enjoy a nice lunch.
The food was donated by local restaurants and local bakeries.
“The funds from all the tickets go directly to Martha’s Table, so we can continue to provide meals for those that need it. It’s a lovely family-friendly event, and we hope to continue it for as long as needed,” executive director Ronda Candy said.
This comes as demand for food banks and food security services have never been higher.
Martha’s Table, and many other food charities, have seen a dramatic increase in demand since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
“From 2019 to today, there’s been a 165 per cent increase. It’s very significant. We’ve struggled to keep up. Physically, having enough hours in the day to prepare the meals required, and the unexpected cost of takeout packaging, it’s really impacted our budget,” Candy said.
Another impact on Martha’s Table’s budget has been the record-high inflation rate.
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The rising cost of living has taken its toll on the organization, with its usual budget not going as far as it used to.
This means more money is needed to maintain their typical level of service.
“The price we pay for gas — we’re delivering meals so that’s a big hit. But the cost of groceries just keeps rising. We’re creative and we really make efforts to use everything we’re given, but our budgets are impacted. We’re feeling that pinch,” Candy said.
To lend a hand to Martha’s Table, you can donate food or cash at their office on Princess Street, or you can donate on their website.
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