COVID-19 Response from the Ottawa Food Bank

The growing concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is an important public health matter, and one that the Ottawa Food Bank is taking seriously.

We are aware the situation is changing daily, and are doing our part to take preventative steps. We are committed to doing all we can to protect our community while continuing service to our member agencies and vulnerable people across the city.

We are taking the following precautions:

  • We have increased our on-site hygiene, particularly in high-traffic areas
  • We have asked volunteers and the general public who have traveled or who are feeling unwell to not visit our premises
  • Staff who have traveled will self-isolate for the recommended 14 days
  • Staff, volunteers, and visitors are encouraged to wash their hands frequently
  • Staff are encouraged to work from home if needed

Our priority is staying healthy and ensuring there is no disruption in service for people in need in Ottawa.

Why does the Ottawa Food Bank need your support at this time?

  • Vulnerable families can’t afford to stock up food for days. With your help, we will ensure they have enough.
  • Some community food banks in Ottawa may need to close for various related reasons. Your gift will ensure there is no interruption of service for families who rely on the food bank for food.
  • With schools closed for three weeks, your gift will help families provide meals usually received at school or in after school clubs.
  • Many fundraising events have been cancelled. Your help will keep our shelves stocked for anyone who many need food during this stressful time.
  • Grocery stores are having a hard time keeping their own shelves stocked, so donations of non-perishables and fresh food are not coming through our doors. We need to rely heavily on purchasing at this time.

Ottawa Public Health is providing frequent updates regarding COVID-19, including best practices for preparing for a possible pandemic. They continue to recommended that we all do our part to limit the spread of germs by:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. Make sure to wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands with soap.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Do not visit people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick.
  • It is still recommended to get your flu shot if you haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulating in the community

16 Responses

  1. Hi.

    I’m on ODSP and live in the Centretown area. You have saved me from starvation more times than I can count.

    I’m physically able, living with PTSD effects which prevent me from holding employment long-term.

    I am concerned that as this pandemic progresses, Food Bank users might not be able to feed themselves in self-isolation or quarantine, thus compromising the immune systems of people already living on the fringe of survival.

    I believe that I will be able to use my hand cart to deliver a couple of loads of food a day within the Centretown area. If that would be helpful, please let me know.

    My name is decipherable from my e-mail address.

    1. Hi there,

      I really appreciate you sharing your story, your kind words, and your willingness to help.
      At this time, we are not taking those measures where we’re calling on the community to take on deliveries. If for any reason we need to adopt a model like that, we will keep you in mind. Thank you. You have a wonderfully generous heart.

  2. Hi,
    Do you have an increased need for volunteers? I’d really like to help during the pandemic. Also, does the Food Bank have a social media presence, or somewhere we can check what is most needed in our community right now? Thank you for your time!

    1. Hey there Samantha,

      Thank you for your question. We are evaluating needs right now. I would recommend you keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (we can be found at @OttawaFoodBank on all platforms) for any calls for volunteers or other needs at this time.

      Thank you for your willingness to help!

  3. Rideau rocklife community center ttre is now closed,as iams sure you are aware,due to a staff member being tested positive for covid virus. Where would I go to pick up food? Ty for your help and time

    1. Hi there Anne,

      Yes – we are aware, they are doing their due diligence as there was possible exposure, however it is not a confirmed case of COVID-19.

      Can I ask that you please write to with your address? From there we will find an solution for you.
      Thank you.

    1. Hello there Ray,

      Thank you for wanting to help. Yes – so long as you are feeling well and have not traveled recently, we are still open and accepting donations at this time. Thank you for thinking of us and the community.

  4. This is stuart Belanger I need help
    With food I am on Odsp I am not sure if heron emergecy Foodbank Center is shut down I need some food badly it’s emergecy please help me stuart belanger from Ottawa

    1. Hey there Stuart,
      Heron is still open as usual. Please give us a call at 613-745-7001 and we’ll be happy to help you.

  5. Hello, I made a donation to Food Banks Canada, COVID-19 Response Fund.
    Does the Ottawa Food Bank receive contributions from this fund?
    Keep up the amazing you work, you are saving lives! Thank you 🙂

    1. Hey there Grace,
      I believe you also reached out through social media – you’ll find your answer there 🙂
      Thanks for supporting Canadians at a national level!

  6. Hello, a community garden located on the intersection of Woodward Avenue and McBride Street has a few food bank plots and are wondering where they should donate their produce? Can you please advice. Thank you! And for future reference, where should we direct community gardens to drop off their food bank donation? Appreciate your help.

    1. Hi there! Thanks for letting us know.
      If anyone wishes to donate produce from their gardens (whether community plots, or on own property) they are welcome to bring it directly to us at 2001 Bantree Street. We are open Monday to Friday, 8AM until 4PM. One request is to NOT drop produce off on a Friday, as it will unfortunately sit through the weekend before Monday’s delivery. We like to get produce out the door as quickly and fresh as possible. Thanks again!

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