Winnipeg women's centre short on food donations due to high demand

With an increase in demand due to the pandemic, the North Point Douglas Women's Centre is in need of donations for emergency hampers.

Tara Zajac, the centre's executive director, said it started handing out emergency food hampers on Tuesdays when COVID-19 first came to Winnipeg about 15 months ago.

"We are located in Point Douglas, but we invite anyone to come. It's mostly families that come down, but there are some single people too," said Zajac.

According to Zajac, the centre has given around 8,000 food hampers so far.

"We feel it's really been magnified, especially when it comes to food security," she said. "We just never seem to have enough donations. There's a huge food need in our community."

With a growing need and fewer places to go on a regular basis for help, the centre is running low on food and basic supplies.

"A lot of the big items we do ask for are pasta, rice, canned veggies, canned protein, also canned meat as well."

Zajac noted monetary donations are also welcome as it allows the centre to choose what to pick up.

Along with food hampers, the centre hands out hygiene care packages.

The centre is also in need of care products such as soap and toothbrushes, as well as feminine hygiene products, baby diapers, formula and wipes.

"Obviously, things look quite a bit different over the last 15 months, but we've been trying out best."

During the recent heatwave, the centre handed out hats, sunscreen and water.

"I think it's important for Winnipeggers and Manitobans to take care of each other and support organizations like ours," said Zajac. "I can say they've been very supportive so far."

More info on how to donate to the North Point Douglas Women's Centre can be found here