Regina Meals Financial institution CEO appears again on pandemic anniversary

This time last year, the Regina Food Bank still didn’t know what was coming.

On the Greg Morgan Morning Show on Friday, food bank CEO John Bailey reflected on the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.

Last March, the overwhelming demand for the food bank’s service had not yet arrived. But public health orders forced businesses to close, putting people out of work.

It took another month for the “tsunami” of need to show up, cresting in the summer.

“April, May, we’re looking at sort of 60 per cent growth over year over year. June, we spiked up to 110 per cent growth and then it sort of sort of slowed down,” Bailey said.

Bailey said the situation is not nearly as dire but the need for food continues to be higher than normal.

He credits the community for its continued support.

“A lot of the food donations are down for obvious reasons. People just aren’t gathering, they’re not doing food drives. And that’s totally understandable,” he said.

“They’ve done an amazing job of still caring for those who are facing food insecurity and with monetary donations we’re able to keep food going.”

During the pandemic, the food bank has found new ways to distribute hampers. Clients no longer enter the building. They either use a drive-through or get deliveries.

“Wherever people can get food, who need food, it’s going to be there for them,” Bailey said.

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