SHEDIAC, N.B. -- Many Maritimers have used their time at home during the pandemic to do seasonal purging and at least one local food bank is feeling the love.

The Shediac Food Bank, in Shediac, N.B., reopened its retail store earlier this month.

“It was pretty crazy. Our donations were up to the roof, they still are. They’re starting to come down a little bit now, but it was pretty full and it was a pretty busy week when we opened,” says Cory Willett, the warehouse manager at the Shediac Food Bank.

The donations are sorted at the warehouse and then sold at their store. All profits go directly back to the food bank, where they feed over 700 clients.

“More donations came in then we could possibly sort through, safely. So we didn’t have very much room and for the first time in years, other than the pandemic, we had to close our donation chute,” says Marc LeBlanc, the executive director at the Shediac Food Bank.

LeBlanc says they were forced to shut it down so staff could take inventory, while complying with social-distancing protocols.

“We sort it into a few different categories, like winter clothes, summer clothes, and then it goes up onto a pallet,” says Willett.

Willett is encouraging community members to shop at the retail store, which will free up space and allow them to reopen the donation shoot, as well as bring in money for the food bank.

Clients who use the food bank are currently being served outside -- a safety measure put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, LeBlanc says the food bank will return to a store environment at the end of the month, allowing clients to select items rather than receive a pre-packed box.

Leblanc says, while there's been an overwhelming amount of donations, he's forever grateful for the support. He hopes others will hold onto their donations to contribute in the near future.