MONTREAL -- A West Island food bank that has seen a huge uptick in demand since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic has found a new way to fund its operations: thrifting.

Kim Reid of the On Rock Food Bank said that while demand for food donations has gone up by nearly 30 per cent over the last few months, there are fewer resources to go around.

“All of our fundraising has gone out the window,” she said. “We do a wine tasting, we do a motorcycle ride, we do an art show. We do a whole bunch of things that bring in 10 to 20 thousand dollars but they're all gone.”

Reid's daughter Kayla, a Concordia art education graduate, came up with an idea for other ways to raise money: Thrift It, a funky store unlike any other on the West Island.

“The idea was really bringing a thrift store you would find downtown or in the city to the West Island, because that's just something we're kind of missing,” said Kayla Reid.

Designed and built by volunteers, Thrift It will offer curated items at thrift store prices, with all profits going to the food bank. Clothing items are donated and kept in storage for 72 hours to avoid chances of COVID transmission. Volunteers then sort and stock the items, which Reid selections and displays on the floor.

“It's really rough because a lot of the clients we're seeing now are people who never envisioned themselves going to a food bank,” said Kim Reid. “They've always had jobs, COVID hits and they're out of work.”

Thrift It is set to open in mid-October.