SASKATOON -- Major Mike Hoeft, area commander for the Salvation Army in Saskatchewan, says they’ve seen a slight increase in requests for food from the foodbank since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the province.

The province announced eight new cases Wednesday and declared a state of emergency.

"At this point people are still okay on their own, but we expect that to change in the next little while,” Hoeft said.

“Our shelters continue to operate as per usual, we've tried to implement all of the public health recommendations for sanitizing and keeping social distancing."

He says they’ve also closed all of their thrift stores to customers over the last 24 hours, but people can still make requests through the Community and Family Services offices.

Self-isolation and self-distancing are causing space issues at the Prince Albert YWCA, CEO Donna Brooks says.

"Our Our House shelter has a capacity of 40, but that's doubling up. So this will reduce that capacity right now, because we're not going to double up,” she said. “Central Avenue, again for women, children, and youth, has a capacity of 60, but that's also doubling up."

The federal government is doubling the Reaching Home program, which provides funding to communities to help them address their local needs. It's also setting up an Indigenous Community Support Fund.

"For anyone fleeing domestic or gender based violence, we will boost funding for shelters that provide sanctuary, when self-isolating at home is simply not an option,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

“We’re also going to do more for lower income people. In May, our government will supplement the GST credit, a tax-free payment sent to low-income Canadians every few months, to offset the consumer tax that they pay. Every adult who qualifies will receive up to $300, with $150 for every child.”

The Lighthouse in Saskatoon says they are extremely strapped and in great need of help. They’re looking for healthy volunteers under the age of 65 who haven’t travelled, face masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and funding.

They also say they’re concerned about the extra number of people that will need support once school closures become official on Thursday and more families need assistance. They usually feed 120-140 people on soup kitchen nights, but anticipate their numbers will be much higher.

The Friendship Centre in downtown Saskatoon has closed its lobby to the public because of the pandemic, but is still offering assistance after getting in touch with staff over the phone.