SUDBURY -- Officials at the Sudbury-based Pregnancy Care Centre & Infant Food Bank say more and more families are turning to them for assistance, with close to 900 families now registered to receive help.

"We're seeing, of course, more families signing up … who normally wouldn't have to, but right now because of job loss or decreased hours, are having to start coming to places like food banks and infant food banks for the first time," said Dedee Flietstra, infant food bank's executive director.

Flietstra says once the pandemic is over, she expects they will see another significant increase in families in need of help once government support is no longer available.

"As they find out that they no longer have a job or business to go back too, there is probably going to be a lot of very hurting families," she said. "My belief is that it is going to be families that don't have much of a financial cushion under them that are really going to be struggling."

Sudbury Steam Cleaners is giving the food bank a boost using a monthly mask initiative that began in April. Julia Haddad, of Sudbury Steam Cleaners, said they want to help local organizations, and this month chose the infant food bank.

"As the COVID-19 pandemic was unfolding, we tried to figure out a way (to) generate work for our staff and how we can also help the community," Haddad said. "We reached out online and said 'we're making cloth masks if people wanted to purchase them,' and then we decided we were going to donate one mask for every mask that's purchased in the month of April."

Each mask sold in May will translate into a dollar donation for the infant food bank, she said. The money will be put to good use, Flietstra said.

"The money that is going to be raised will be going to fill the need for formula, diapers and baby food for that increase that we think is going to come," she said.