Gathering Place sees no food shortages

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The Gathering Place is preparing for a possible shortage of food relief donations, but “we don’t see it yet,” executive director Dennis Chippa said.

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“But we are preparing for the potential shortage. We have withheld some of the things that we normally give.

Food rescue has been a staple for The Gathering Place for the past few years. Chippa has formed partnerships between several grocery stores and a few department stores and restaurants that would otherwise throw out “best before date” items and donate those items to the soup kitchen instead.

Food products are processed and used immediately, given to their customers or cleaned, packaged and frozen for a later date.

Chippa said The Gathering Place is still trying to share as best it can despite the uncertainty.

“The shops we get relief food from have been great. Giant Tiger on Lakeshore Drive just gave us a half leg of fresh potatoes they bought which is awesome.

Sylvain Charlebois, director of Dalhousie University’s Agrifood Analysis Laboratory, told the National Post that access to food will be a challenge this winter.

“I am concerned about the food security of our country,” Charlebois said. “Consumers need to adjust their expectations when they enter a grocery store. They should expect more empty shelves and delays.

Staffing shortages and the federal government’s decision to implement a vaccination mandate for truckers entering Canada are some of the reasons cited for bare shelves that many customers have reported.

“We import over $25 billion worth of food from the United States every year,” Charlebois said. “Seventy percent cross the border with truckers. With the vaccination mandate, we just took 8,000 to 16,000 truckers out of the system. »

On the other hand, Michelle Wasylyshen, national spokesperson for the Retail Council of Canada, said Canadians shouldn’t worry about food availability.

She said in a previous interview that there will be times when consumers will have to look for alternatives when the item they want isn’t available.

“But there is food on the shelves.”

With files from Postmedia

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