Volunteering to feed the hungry and fight food inflation

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Leslie Vine and Lori Findlay make up a dynamic duo that is helping to ease hunger by volunteering at the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank.

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Vine, standing on the sorting room floor on Tuesday, flexed her muscles like Rosie the Riveter before tearing into boxes of Jamie Oliver pasta.

“We are volunteers and proud to be it,” Findlay said as she turned to show off the back of her T-shirt with DBFB emblazoned on it.

“We definitely feel for people who need the food because we could in any circumstance be in that same situation … If there was ever a need for me or people I know, the food bank is there for them,” she added.

Both volunteers have given their time and effort over the past year to help those less fortunate.

Findlay is a newly retired school principal and Vine helps lawyers streamline their businesses. Both say the volunteer work is rewarding during tough times.

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“I’m doing something physical, and I’m giving back at a time when the numbers are so high in terms of who needs this service,” Vine said.

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Talia Bronstein, vice-president of research and advocacy for the Daily Bread Food   Bank, said they doled out 7.7 million kg of food during the last fiscal year, July 2020 to June 2021.

“For the first time this year, new clients outnumbered existing clients,” added Bronstein.

“And that is really an example of the impact of unemployment and under-employment,” she said. “And we know that food banks tend to be a place of last resort after they exhaust all options.”

Bronstein said the food bank saw a 30% increase in use at the Etobicoke facility.

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