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Slow summer for charities, non-profits

<p>For many people, summer means vacation — but the city'scharities and non-profit agencies don't take a break, as they scramble to stock food banks with fewerresources.</p>

For many people, summer means vacation.

But while the city's charities and non-profit agencies don't begrudge you time off, they're trying to run their services as normally as possible -- but with fewer resources.

"We're certainly affected by the summer months," Ottawa Food Bank executive director Peter Tilley said Monday. "Hunger doesn't take a holiday. Hunger's not seasonal."

The Ottawa Food Bank is using its donations from the spring food drive and the capital food blitz at the end of June, Tilley said. Supplies are running low, which means the food bank is buying supplies to get through the summer months until the next big drive held at Thanksgiving.

While the food bank buys food and receives seasonal food donations from local growers at the Ottawa Farmers Market, Tilley is encouraging residents to take the time to drop off a few donations this summer.

The food bank has red donation cages in grocery stores across the city, or people can put together their own events, said Tilley.

"If anyone wants to do an office food drive, we can pick up the food," said Tilley.

Volunteers are also affected at the food bank, Tilley said.

"When the ones that come in regularly go on vacation, it affects us," said Tilley. "We're just reminding people to keep the need front and centre."

Over at the Ottawa Mission, volunteer holidays make it difficult to get certain jobs done, said spokeswoman Shirley Roy. "And donations do tend to slow down in the summertime."

But things will pick up come Thanksgiving, Roy said.

"People are always very generous around the holidays," she said.

The shelter is currently seeking donations of toiletries, including shaving cream and razors, and towels and clothing, she said.

 
 
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