Baby food running low at Neighbour to Neighbour

Neighbour to Neighbour is down to its last 14 jars of baby food and has issued a “desperate” call for donations.

The food bank is also running low on formula.

“We’ve never been short on baby food in past 30 years that I can recall,” said Sara Collyer, Neighbour to Neighbour’s director of community food. “People tend to donate baby food quite a bit. Formula we tend to run out of, but never baby food.”

She said donations should pick up by the end of September when school is back, but that’s a good six weeks away.

We’ve resorted to rationing the baby food products. Said Sara Collyer, Director of community food Neighbour to Neighbour services 1,200 families a month with 60 per cent headed by single parents.

The latest baby food donation decline has Collyer scratching her head: “We’ve contacted local emergency food banks in the Hamilton area and launched a social media campaign, more like an S.O.S.,” she said. “We are desperate. We’ve resorted to rationing the baby food products. We hope stock will increase again.”

Joanne Santucci, executive director of Hamilton Food Share, said two years ago many food agencies across the city had a shortage of baby food.

On Tuesday, she hadn’t heard “from any organizations with that specific problem, but that doesn’t mean I won’t hear from them tomorrow.”

Santucci said it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what causes such a shortage.

“Sometimes there is a perfect storm: time of year, job uncertainty — meaning people aren’t buying as much — and a lull in food manufacturing plants that used to donate to local food agencies. They could all be reasons why,” she said.