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Strong Thanksgiving food drive shatters London Food Bank expectations | CBC News

Officials at the London Food Bank are expressing gratitude to Londoners for the success of its annual Thanksgiving food drive.

They say this year’s drive collected a combined total of 117,496 pounds of food over 10 days. That’s up almost 50 per cent from the 2021 food drive’s figure of 79,021. In total , 76,652 pounds of this year’s total came from actual food donations, and the other 39,204 pounds came from $125,846 in monetary donations.

Co-director Glen Pearson said at the start of the 10 day campaign that he was prepared to see donations dip this year due to inflation and the high cost of food. This year, that prediction fell flat.

“[Londoners] were saying no, our fellow citizens matter. If they’re going through a tough time, they’re going through it harder. So we’re going to find ways to respond,” said Pearson.

Pearson believes one driving force behind this year’s success came from the return of volunteers to grocery stores. He explained, donations typically double when volunteers are present in stores. 

On the other hand, this year’s donations proved even greater than pre-pandemic efforts. While volunteers made an essential difference, the public came together in a remarkable way.

“They know things are tough across the country, but their own citizens matter. I feel kind of dwarfed by it,” Pearson added.

This year’s extra donations will allow the food bank to keep pace with rising demand, which reached record territory with roughly 20,000 Londoners accessing the food bank’s services monthly.

Extra donations also mean more support for organizations that aid the London Food Bank and work in tandem with them.

“I think the psychological effect of the drive will carry on long after the food is used up,” Pearson said. “I think people will realize that London showed up in a big way.”

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