Number of food bank visits still rising
The Markham Food Bank stock is running short fast, volunteer director Carol Reaman said. Visits to the non profit agency serving Nike Air Max about 400 families monthly are up. Increasingly noticeable are more senior clients.
need just about everything, she said. shelves are bare. Our clientele is climbing. We seeing more seniors. They on fixed income, yet expenses go up.
The weeks up to Christmas are the busiest for the Mount Albert Food Pantry, co ordinator Pauline Stanbury said. It begins this Sunday when the agency, operating from the Mount Albert United Church, will distribute fresh turkeys, hams and chicken along with fresh produce. Serving up to 60 individuals monthly on average, the pantry will see more than 90 per month at Christmas.
is growing steadily, Ms Stanbury said. reached a plateau at the moment. People seem to come and go.
Still, her pantry, which helps residents throughout East Gwillimbury and other food banks in York Region, is always grateful for donations of cash or non perishable foods. Pasta and sauces, tinned fruit, canned meats and vegetables and peanut butter are high demand staples. Other items welcomed by clients include dry soup, canned salmon and stew, cold cereal, jam, green and yellow beans, tea bags and sugar.
Whitchurch Stouffville Food Bank co ordinator Marion Wells and her board of seven volunteers working at the Churchill Baptist Church also see visitor traffic rise, particularly during the colder months.
the winter, jobs are not as robust and we see more seasonal workers, roofers, landscapers and construction workers, Ms Wells said.
On average, the food bank serves 80 individuals and families per month. At Christmas, she anticipates requests for up to 100 food hampers.
Whitchurch Stouffville is becoming a pricey, growing bedroom community, she said. To ensure they are there for those in need, Ms Wells and her fellow volunteers have been helped by No Frills, Giant Tiger, Metro and local fire halls, all of which have collection bins. The community support has made their drives convenient and successful.
The winter drive has been kick started by Geranium Homes. The builder donated a substantial cash gift and four truckloads of food.
is one of the most generous places, she said.
Still, the co ordinators experiences reflect what York Region Food Network 2013 Food For Change From Charity to Dignity survey reported.
lot of people have the impression that Markham Unionville is a good area with good incomes, Ms Reaman said. sees the big houses. What they don see are the tiny basement apartments with two or three families. They don see those struggling to get by.
In 2012, 52,879 people, 41 per cent of them children, were fed in York Region through eight food banks, the network report stated.
Education and a job don preclude people from relying on food banks, the network report found.
Of the adults interviewed in York Region food banks, 74 per cent had either graduated high school, had some college or university education, had graduated from college or university, or had a postgraduate university degree. A full 20 per cent had a university degree, college diploma, or postgraduate university degree.
While it is logical to expect income from employment would be sufficient to pay for basic needs, such as housing and food, the network survey found that 40 per cent of households accessing a food bank had at least one member of the household employed. Similarly, Canadian Community Health Survey data from 2007 2008 revealed 57 per cent of Canadians who are in food insecure households were reliant on employment income.
The report noted that when monthly income is allocated, people usually pay their rent and other fixed expenses such as heat, hydro and transportation firs Nike Air Max t. They buy food after. When income is inadequate, food becomes a discretionary expense. This results in an inadequate diet of poor nutritional value.
Canadian adults in food insecure households consume fewer servings of milk products, fruits and vegetables and, in some cases, meat and meat alternatives. As incomes drop, high calorie foods that are low in nutrients provide people with their daily calories, at a lower cost.
The probability of adults with Nike Air Max chronic health conditions in severely food insecure households is much higher than adults in food secure households. People in food insecure households are more likely to report poor health, restricted activity and multiple health conditions, including major depression and distress, as well as poor social support.
People in food insecure households are also more likely to report heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and food allergies.
The Daily Bread Food Bank 2013 Who Hungry: A Tale of 3 Cities report, released last week included the 905 regions, including York, Peel and Durham.
For the fifth year in a row GTA food banks have seen more than one million visits, with an increase of nearly 40 per cent in Toronto former inner suburbs since 2008.
Different trends have Nike Air Max emerged in the GTA in regards to who is accessing food banks. Those in the inner suburbs and 905 region are more likely to be families with children, whereas those in the city core are more likely single people with a disability. Since 2008, the 905 region has seen a 19 per cent hike in food bank usage and inner suburbs twice that tally.
The Who Hungry report found disturbing facts: 60 per cent of inner suburb food bank clients were not born in Canada. In the 905, it 36 per cent.
The reason people go hungry in the GTA comes down to dollars and cents. The average monthly income is $693 after rent is paid, people are left with $5.83 per person per day. Close to one quarter of people accessing food banks have someone in their household working and in the 905 region, that number is almost 40 per cent. Employment is not always a ticket out of hunger and poverty, the report said.
Clients in the 905 region come to food banks, on average, for one year. More than one third of adult clients have not eaten for an entire day, 40 per cent of adult clients are hungry at least once a week as are 20 of children.
The root causes of hunger can be solved, both reports contend. What we need is a transformed income security system that can further improve employment outcomes for people during good economic times and provide an adequate safety net during bad times. The most recent provincial budget included positive measures that are important immediate steps toward this goal. These measures included letting people who receive social assistance to keep more of their earned income, increasing asset limits, paying special attention to improved benefit levels for singles on Ontario Works, and continuing to increase the Ontario Child Benefit.