Sunday, February 12, 2017

Support your local foodbank

I know that Valentines Day is tomorrow, but as we think about honoring our loved ones, I want you to consider that many Canadians face hunger every day. For those of us who are fortunate enough not to be in that situation,we consider giving flowers and candies to our loved ones. Something to think about, instead of honoring your love with candies or flower, perhaps a donation to the foodbank in their name would be a more thoughtful gift

Every March the Food Bank of Canada puts out its Hunger Count, Now is a good time for us to think about supporting your local Food Bank, Here are some sad statistics from last March.  

In March 2015, 852,137 people received food from a food bank in Canada. More than one-third of those helped were children. 80,000 people seek help for the first time each month

Households that make the difficult decision to ask for help from food banks tend to be the most severely food insecure because their incomes are too low to cover even the most basic needs:
·       7% of households helped by food banks live primarily on income from a pension
·       16% of those assisted earn the majority of their income through work
·       18% of households receive disability-related income supports
·       46% of households accessing food banks are on provincial social assistance benefits

The households that request assistance are often forced to limit their spending on food because of the high and relatively inflexible cost of housing;
·       5% of households accessing food banks are homeless, with the majority of these living temporarily with family or friends
·       7% own their homes
·        20% of those assisted live in social housing, with subsidized rents
·       67% of households helped live in rental housing and pay market-level rents

Finally, the family composition of those accessing food banks is diverse:
·       10% of households accessing food banks are couples without children
·       44% of those helped are families with children, and nearly half of these are two-parent families
·       46% of households assisted are composed of single individuals – a group that continues to grow, having gradually increased from just 30% of the total in 2001

The Hunger Count not only tells us how many Canadians do not have food security, it makes recommendations on how to solve the problem. It is an important document and it can be read in full here

The following snapshots from the Hunger Count shows the extent of the problem:

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