FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is investing $1 million to ensure food banks and soup kitchens continue to provide to those in need.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the increased cost of food and gas is affecting the level of support that food banks and soup kitchens are able to offer to the most vulnerable in our province,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “We are providing this one-time funding to ensure these services continue.”

The funding is to the Food Depot Alimentaire, a registered, non-profit charitable organization that serves food banks, community kitchens, school programs and other supportive agencies across the province.

The funds will be used to buy healthy food with an emphasis on vegetables, fruit, eggs, protein, and dairy products. The intention is to buy food sourced from New Brunswick suppliers to the degree possible. The food will be equitably distributed to all food banks and soup kitchens in the province.

“During the last few months, we have seen a significant increase in the number of individuals accessing the various agencies we support,” said Stéphane Sirois, executive director of the Food Depot Alimentaire. “This investment from the provincial government will allow us to meet that demand and keep delivering fresh, healthy food to all our front-line partners while increasing our capacity to source food from New Brunswick suppliers.”