With Saskatchewan food banks experiencing a steep drop-off in food donations and a spike in usage of up to 40 to 50 percent in some communities in the wake of COVID-19, NDP Leader Ryan Meili is calling on the province to match federal support with $1.5 million in emergency funding, and to encourage Saskatchewan people to support their local food banks with food or cash donations if possible.
“Families are under incredible stress right now,” said Meili. “Half of Saskatchewan households were living paycheque to paycheque before this crisis hit, and now many of them are having to turn to food banks to feed their families. We need to make sure no family goes hungry as the province faces COVID-19.
“People are turning to food banks right now, and food banks are turning to us. It’s important we step up to support these frontline organizations today, as they work to ensure that no one in Saskatchewan goes hungry.”
Saskatchewan Food Banks have undertaken a fundraising campaign to raise $6 million dollars, on top of the estimated $1.5 million in emergency aid expected from the federal government. Meili is calling on the Sask. Party government to match that federal amount and provide $1.5 million immediately to help Saskatchewan Food Banks help those most in need.
“We each have a role to play in supporting the most vulnerable in our community, but the province needs to set the tone,” said NDP Social Services Critic Nicole Rancourt. “That’s why we’re calling on Minister Merriman to match the federal contribution so that no one in Saskatchewan goes hungry this spring.”