The Lakelands Association of Realtors has donated money to food banks across Muskoka to support the increased demand for services amid the pandemic.
Food banks receiving support include the West Muskoka Food Bank in Port Carling, the Salvation Army Food Bank in Gravenhurst, Manna Food Bank in Bracebridge, the Table Foundation in Huntsville, and the Burk’s Falls and District Food Bank. The donation comes as part of the Ontario Realtors Care Foundation and Lakeland’s Tragic Relief Fund. Between the two programs, the Lakelands Association of Realtors has donated $10,780 to food banks in Haliburton, Muskoka, Orillia and Parry Sound in response to the pandemic. On a provincial level, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has also donated $480,000 to Ontario shelters and shelter-based charities through the Ontario Realtors Care Foundation.
Joy Murphy, a coordinator at the Burk’s Falls and District Food Bank, said in a press release that many of their clients are dealing with physical disabilities and other health problems, so having access to healthy food plays an important role in improving their day-to-day lives and overall health.
“We are so thankful for the generous donation received from the Lakelands Association of Realtors,” Murphy said. “Donations such as this go a long way in helping us to provide our clients with a more healthy and nutritious diet, enabling us to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and some dairy products that they would not normally have access to.”
Since the lockdown began, the number of people seeking help from food banks has risen by at least 20 percent in most regions across the country, according to Food Banks Canada, and numbers are expected to rise over the coming weeks and months.
“We believe that now more than ever, we need to support those who are most vulnerable,” said Catharine Inniss, Port Carling realtor and president of the Lakelands Association of Realtors Board of Directors, in the release. “We know that members of our association are proud to be part of a profession that extends itself with these types of initiatives.”