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COVID-19 | Impact on Food Banks and How You Can Help

How You Can Help

Food Banks Canada is currently accepting donations to support food banks’ coronavirus response efforts across Canada. Canadians wishing to help their less fortunate neighbours can donate below.
Or by calling 1-877-535-0958. Your donations will help fund direct support for local food banks so that they can continue to respond to the impact of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in their communities, primarily through the acquisition and sharing of critical food resources to communities affected or at risk.
If you’re a national/multinational corporation looking to provide support to food banks across Canada, please contact Tania Little, Chief Development and Partnerships Officer at 905-756-4653.

COVID-19 Impact on Food Banks from Coast to Coast to Coast

Providing food to those in need can be difficult at the best of times. With COVID-19, that task just got harder. Yet food banks continue to be leaders in their communities in providing food to those that live with food insecurity.
Food Banks Canada is in regular contact with the network of food banks across Canada and already there are signs of COVID-19’s devastating impact on the food bank system:
  • Food banks are already seeing drastic declines in the number of volunteers that are able to support their work in the days/weeks ahead.
  • Food banks are concerned about the amount of stock they have access to as a dwindling workforce means fewer pickups.
  • Most food banks are worried about how to financially support themselves through this crisis and beyond.
  • While the public prepares for possible impacts of COVID-19, food bank users cannot afford the same measure, leaving them more vulnerable.
Food banks are adapting to these rapidly changing circumstances but it is clear that help is needed.

How is Food Banks Canada Helping?

Food Banks Canada will remain focused on:
  • Securing support for additional resources (food, funds and volunteers) to support the food bank network and assist with continued food assistance in local communities
  • Supporting food banks to share ideas and innovative responses to their local realities and responses to COVID-19
  • Act as conveners to share best practices from trusted sources such as PHAC, the WHO and global partners The Global Food Banking Network, Feeding America and Food Banks Australia.

What is COVID-19? FAQ

How Can I Stay Up to Date on COVID-19?

Information is changing rapidly as more data is gathered about this virus. To encourage accurate information sharing, Food Banks Canada recommends that you start with trusted sources like the government’s Public Health Agency of Canada and United Nations agencies such as the World Health Organization to find updated facts and statistics surrounding the virus.
Key information below is compiled from the following sources:

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The COVID-19 coronavirus (previously known as 2019-nCOV and occasionally referred to as the Novel Coronavirus) was first identified in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. The virus has since spread to countries around the world, including Canada. For up to date information on affected countries and confirmed cases, we recommend checking the World Health Organization’s daily situation reports. The Government of Canada is also updating its website with regular updates on the outbreak.

About Coronaviruses

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.
COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact.

What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.
Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known infectious period for this disease. We are currently investigating if the virus can be transmitted to others if someone is not showing symptoms. While experts believe that it is possible, it is considered to be rare.
Symptoms have included:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pneumonia in both lungs
People with pre-existing medical conditions, small children, and the elderly are more vulnerable than others to the illness. In severe cases, infection can lead to death.

How Does the Coronavirus Spread?

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:
  • Respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
  • Close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
Current evidence suggests person-to-person spread is efficient when there is close contact.
To learn more about how to protect yourself against COVID-19, the World Health Organization, has produced this video:

Preventing Coronavirus

At this time, there is no vaccine for COVID-19 or any natural health products that are authorized to protect against it.
If You Have Travelled to an At-Risk Area
If you have travelled to Hubei province, China, Iran or Italy in the last 14 days, limit your contact with others for 14 days, starting the day you began your journey to Canada. This means self-isolate and stay at home. Contact the public health authority in your province or territory within 24 hours of arriving in Canada for advice.
If You Have COVID-19, Reduce Contact with Others
If you are sick, the following steps will help to reduce contact with others:
  • Stay at home and self-isolate (unless directed to seek medical care)
    • If you must leave your home, wear a mask or cover your mouth and nose with tissues, and maintain a 2-metre distance from others
  • Avoid individuals in hospitals and long-term care centres, especially older adults and those with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems
  • Avoid having visitors to your home
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing and sneezing
  • Have supplies delivered to your home instead of running errands
    • Supplies should be dropped off outside to ensure a 2-metre distance
Being Prepared
It is important to know how you can prepare in case you or a family member becomes ill.
If you have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 or identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, you may be asked to self-monitor.