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West Island food bank to hold Sunday 'Porch to Pantry' food drive as donations dwindle

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The West Island Mission usually has about three months worth of food at any time, but since donations have slowed down staff is unsure how much they will have to offer next week.

"We have nothing on the shelves," said executive director Suzanne Scarrow.

At their self-serve food bank, families can take what they need.

"If someone's reached out to a food bank, and is food insecure, at that time in their life, they should be choosing what their family needs," Scarrow said.

But these days, there isn't much choice. An urgent notice on its website says they are facing an "overwhelming demand."

About 1,000 people come to the Mission in Pointe-Claire for groceries every two weeks. The food bank has never had a problem with supply until now.

"We used to have three shelves of canned vegetables. Right now, there's next to nothing. It's scary times," Scarrow said.

With the rising cost of living in Canada, she said people aren't donating as much. About one quarter of the clients come from Pointe-Claire.

"Sadly, many of them are seniors and we are an aging community, so it's very important to us," said Pointe-Claire Mayor Tim Thomas.

"I'm asking the residents to be generous to support their neighbours. People are worse off than people think."

The Mission is holding a one-day"Porch to Pantry" food drive Sunday where residents can leave bags of food on their porches for pick-up.

Lyse Baudette put out three bags filled with items like juice and canned tomatoes. Those items were on sale, she said.

"It's awful. I buy on special almost exclusively lately," she said.

Lyse Baudette put three bags of donated food outside her home for pick-up. (Luca Caruso-Moro/CTV News)

Scarrow said high on their wish list is high-nutrition and non-perishable foods.

"Even canned meals, soups, rice, peanut butter, canned meat — tuna, salmon, chicken," she said.

People can leave their food out for pick-up in a labelled bag at 9 a.m. Sunday.

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