For many families, summer is a time for leisure and relaxation. But for many families in our community, the summer places an immense burden on them. By the end of June, children will be out of school and cannot rely on meal programs to supply them with healthy food. As a result, parents will have to choose between paying for bills and providing additional meals for their kids.
Families are going hungry because they don’t have enough money to be able to meet their basic needs. For our food bank clients, 68% of their income goes towards paying for rent, transportation, and hydro. Because these are non-negotiable expenses, food ends up being the only part of their budget that can be cut out. Many children will be forced to skip meals multiple times a week so that their parents can pay their bills.
At North York Harvest Food Bank, we know that the summer break means that thousands of kids won’t have access to the meal programs that they get during the school year. These meals not only support the health, well-being, and development of these children but they also support the working parents struggling to meet the most basic needs of their families.
It’s a strenuous time for everyone, including our food bank. Traditionally, we receive few food and cash donations, which leaves our shelves understocked as a result. The lack of cash donations also means that we will struggle to purchase fresh produce for our community of 24,000 families – children, and seniors – who rely on us to meet their food needs.
1 in 3 of our food bank clients are children, and they need healthy food three times a day – every day – to thrive. Donate to North York Harvest Food Bank this summer and help us keep our shelves stocked to ensure we have the food to assist kids at these critical stages of their lives.