Posts Tagged ‘Put food in the budget’

Food in the news

October 14, 2010

“People don’t understand how much poverty there actually is in KW – if they did it would make a big difference.”

This is what one of our program patrons told us this summer during the survey project that Lucas and Lianna conducted.   It seems like people might be starting to get a better idea, especially if they’re watching or reading the news lately.

Food and food banks tend to be in the news a lot around this time of year as most food banks will kick off their fall food drives around Thanksgiving.   This year there is a little more to talk about.

As I mentioned in a previous post (here) the Put Food on the Budget Challenge was getting a number of local residents to walk a mile (or a week) in the shoes of a low income person trying to get by on an Ontario Works cheque.  After they wrapped up their efforts, Cambridge did the same.  You can find the blog detailing the Cambridge participants experiences here.

A common sentiment among many of the participants of both challenges was that it was harder to get by than they had originally realized.  The lack of energy, the constant preoccupation with food, where to get it and how to stretch it, made it a real challenge to get through the day.

Communities all across the province are doing similar work to try and create some momentum and help create a broader understanding of the issues.  You can find all of the blog and media coverage in one handy spot here.

The food banks of Kitchener Waterloo and Cambridge are still collecting food through their food drives to help keep all the programs like us going through the winter.  The need is still great in our community.  This last Friday at our program alone we served 203 families and individuals.  About mid day we also passed the 25,000 food hamper mark this year.  Demand is still strong and the need is still great in our community.

This last weekend, even Premier Dalton McGuinty (in this CBC article) stepped up to encourage people to make a contribution and help out.  Large food banks like the Daily Bread in Toronto (according to their twitter feed) are still falling short of their food drive targets.  This means even leaner hampers in the coming months for hungry people in our communities.