Community Pantry food bank seeking donations to fill shelves

MOUNT FOREST – What a difference a week makes.

Marg Rapp, a volunteer at the Community Pantry in Mount Forest, said demand has risen sharply for the food bank in the past week and they are seeking donations of food and cash to keep up.

With businesses shutting their doors and employees being laid off in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s no surprise that people are turning to the foodbank, Rapp said. But the numbers of people in need are becoming overwhelming.

“We usually get 35 to 40 calls a month,” Rapp said on March 23. “Last week we had 23 calls, today we had 10, so supplies are disappearing quickly. We’re trying to help people but it’s hard to manage. We need donations.”

Clients of the Community Pantry don’t normally come inside the facility, rather, volunteers gather orders and deliver them to clients. Now, they are dropping food on doorsteps to maintain safe physical distances.

Rapp said there’s no specific food item that’s needed, but peanut butter and juice are popular staples, “and it’s nice to leave them a little treat, like crackers or cookies. We have none of those,” she said.

Donation bins are located at No Frills and Foodland. Cash donations can be mailed to the Community Pantry, P.O. Box 54, Mount Forest, or call 519-323-9218 to arrange for pick-up.

Also the Wellington Pregnancy Centre is partnering with the Centre Wellington Foodbank to ensure that pregnant and new moms get diapers, wipes and baby formula they need during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Due to health regulations, we cannot hand out these essential items at our office anymore,” Ilse VanderMeulen, director of the local pregnancy centre stated in a press release. “By making diapers, wipes and formula available at the Foodbank, moms in need hopefully have one less thing to worry about.”

Anyone who would like to donate to the Centre can go online to earmarked project Wellington. Or send an e-transfer to Please include your name and mailing address in the comments section in order to receive a year-end tax receipt.