Food Banks and Community Meals

Public Health has been working with our local food banks and community meal programs to ensure they can operate safely and prevent the spread of illness. 

Food banks and organizations that provide community meal programs understand that families may be under additional stress. They are trying their best to meet the needs of the communities they serve without jeopardizing the health of their staff, volunteers and clients.

Food banks
Food banks have been supported to operate with appropriate precautions put in place.  Please call your local food bank to make an appointment. To find a food bank in your community, please go to 211 Ontario or visit Southwest Healthline Food Bank List. You can also print out a list of Perth County Food Banks [PDF] and Huron County Food Banks [PDF].
Community meal programs

Huron County (Goderich): Meals to go are available in Goderich through the Fishes and Loaves program. You can also print off the Fishes and Loaves poster [PDF].

Perth County: Meals to go available through The Local Community Food Centre and Stratford Christian Reformed Church. See the Food for All calendar for Perth County [PDF].

 Providing food banks and community meal programs
For more information about operating your community meal program, or hosting a meal in your community, please contact the Environmental Health Duty Desk at 1-888-221-2133 ext. 3670 for Perth County inquiries or ext. 2670 for Huron County, or email inspections@hpph.ca. Please be prepared to follow the Province's Stage 3 Reopening Guidelines as well as put in additional screening, physical distancing and food safety practices. 

If you offer a community meal to the public, dine-in options are not permitted under any circumstances. Your community meal can only be offered if you can provide a take-out option and limit social interactions between people. If you provide a take-out option, the following must be considered:

  • To protect staff, volunteers and patrons, do not allow patrons to wait inside the premises for food orders to be ready. As an alternative, you could:
    • Deliver the take-out order to their car
    • Have them wait in their car until you text or call them that their meal(s) are ready
    • Provide a door-to-door service if you have the capacity to do so and appropriate containers for transporting food safely
  • Continue to follow good hygiene practices and infection control practices to ensure:
    • Staff and volunteers are not working if they are sick
    • Staff and volunteers are washing hands frequently to minimize the chance of getting infected.
    • That regular and routine cleaning and disinfecting of the facility is continuing, especially high touch surfaces and objects.

If you have questions about how to safely operate your specific food bank or community meal program, please email inspections@hpph.ca or refer to our COVID-19 factsheet Food Premises Operators/business owners.