Maritime charities struggle to keep pace with high demand
With increasing competition for donor dollars this year, charities across the Maritimes are concerned there’s not enough generosity to go around.
With only days remaining until Christmas, demand is higher than ever.
Nick Jennery, executive director of Feed Nova Scotia, says there’s nearly 6,700 families that have requested support for Christmas.
That’s nearly 400 more than last year.
“Right now, we're down about 20 per cent on food, and we're down a little bit on money donations,” said Jennery.
Food banks across the Maritimes are feeling the pinch. Donations that come in around the holidays keep the shelves stocked for most of the winter.
In Moncton, the Food Depot's annual Christmas Food Box Drive, which is about 30 per cent of the campaign, is behind by nearly 500 boxes.
The organization's president says it’s likely because so many organizations are looking for donor dollars at this time of year, including organizations collecting for Syrian refugees.
And those donations have been pouring in, so much so that Nova Scotia's Department of Immigration is looking at whether it needs to keep donation centres open until February as planned.
But some say the generosity is good for all.
“I think it's just enhancing, I think it just it all comes together,” said Rhonda Harington of the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army's kettle campaign is on track in the Maritimes.
“People have been dropping off donations knowing that more people will be shopping in our stores, so it actually even sort of has helped,” said Harrington.
For organizations that don't work on the front lines of poverty, competition for dollars during the holidays can be especially difficult.
Speaking on Canada AM Monday morning, Kids Help Phone CEO Sharon Wood said its holiday campaign is down by 50 per cent this year.
“We know there's a lot of causes out there,” said Wood. “This is the important time of the year.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.