LONDON, ONT. -- A drive-through food hub is opening at the Adie Knox Herman Recreation Complex.

The west end food hub is slated to open Thursday.

The outdoor site allows for the continuance of proper social distancing measures while distributing food, a news release says.

The childhood poverty rate in Windsor’s west end is one of the highest in the country and many families and individuals have experienced additional challenges securing basic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, says the Unemployment Help Centre of Windsor.

“We are so grateful to be able to have once again worked closely with Mayor Dilkens, redeployed City of Windsor outdoor staff and CUPE Locals 82 and 543 to provide a food distribution hub to those living in this area of our city,” said June Muir, chief executive officer of UHC.

“Having access to this site, and to the building itself, is extremely fortuitous as it allows us to not only offer non-perishables in our hampers but also fresh, perishable items.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 50,000 children and adults have received food assistance.

Irek Kusmierczyk, MP for Windsor-Tecumseh, will also announce additional funding from the Government of Canada to support these local food security efforts.

“Our government is proud to stand beside the UHC to help them help our most vulnerable community members in this time of need,” said Kusmierczyk.

“This investment will allow them to continue their incredible work and ensure that no neighbour is left behind.”

The funding is part of the $100 million Emergency Fund for food security announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in April to help position food banks and local food organizations to respond to increased community needs.

The funds were distributed to the Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association from Food Banks Canada and will be used to continue the operation of drive-trough food hubs throughout the city and county.

UHC’s drive-through hub will formally open Thursday at 11 a.m.