05/22/2014 11:11 EDT | Updated 07/22/2014 05:59 EDT

West Island food bank facing shortages

A West Island food bank is hoping for a Christmas in May to replenish its depleted stores and meet the increasing demand for its services.

On Rock Community Services in Pierrefonds is already well into its stock of surplus food — a supply that normally lasts until the end of June.

Kim Reid, the organization’s president, told CBC Radio's Daybreak that high food prices mean companies that can usually be relied on for donations are paying more for food and holding on to it longer, hoping that it sells.

That has groups like Moisson Montreal, On Rock’s main supplier, running into shortages as a result.

“The less we get from them, the more we have to dig into our surplus earlier,” Reid told Daybreak host, Mike Finnerty.

Worsening the situation is a 17 per cent increase in demand at On Rock’s food bank, which now serves around 200 families a week.

When asked how people can help, Reid said a little goes a long way. Even an individual conducting a small food drive among friends and family can make a difference.

“A lot of people think if they only collect a little it’s not helping. That actually helps us a lot,” he said.

Reid said that what On Rock needs now, is the kind of outpouring of generosity normally seen only around the holiday season. 

“A Christmas in May. That would be incredible. And if companies have a little extra and can let it go early, that would be nice, too,” he said.