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High demand at Sudbury Infant Food Bank
SUDBURY – The Infant Food Bank in Sudbury says is has been a challenge to meet the growing demand for infant formula and supplies, and is not accepting new clients for now.
"We started seeing a number of new clients coming through, way beyond what we anticipated and the need is greater than we've ever seen," said Dedee Flietstra, Infant Food Band Executive Director.
Demand for the Infant Food Bank's services has nearly doubled in the last year alone.
One of the items they need most is baby formula.
"If you take a walk down the formula aisle at the grocery store, you'll soon see how expensive it can be. Families can be spending an average of $100 to $300 a month if they're formula feeding an infant," says Margaret Flietstra, Infant Food Bank Board Chair.
Dedee says "people only come to an infant food bank when they are absolutely destitute. It is not a feel-good place to have to come, to ask for formula to feed your baby."
This is the first time in the organizations 23 year history that it has had to say it's not taking new clients.
It's one of the reasons why a few of their volunteers decided to create "Grannies for Good", and will be raising funds for the agency during the morning of October 20.
"When my husband, a number of years ago, went on strike with Inco. and we had a newborn baby and we couldn't afford formula, I didn't know what we were going to do and there wasn't a place like this we could go to," explained Michele Caruso McGuire, Grannie for Good.
"Being a mother, hoping to be a grandmother one day soon, we want to help. I'm sure many Sudburians want to help, we just weren't aware of the need," commented Lynne Monk, Grannies for Good.
The agency is a member of the Sudbury Food Bank, which says some groups are seeing similar spikes in the need for help.
"It's not every agency. I have to be very clear about that. It's certain agencies, especially specific ones but we are definitely seeing a huge influx of use of the food banks now," said Dan Xilon, Sudbury Food Bank.
Additional fundraisers are being planned along with Christmas campaigns.
The group is hoping things will start to turn around by next month so they can start taking new clients again.