For many Toronto children, summer is a time for savory barbecues and fun-filled picnics. You yourself may be lucky enough to enjoy a holiday getaway with your friends and family this summer.
But right now families in your community need your support more than ever.
Many children from low-income families depend on food programs at their schools for lunch or breakfast. Sadly, in the summer months, these kids go without many of these important meals.
This time of year is even more difficult for working families who also have to pay for daycare (when the children are not in school).
The reality is . . . families in our community struggle even harder to put food on the table during the summer.
There are over 16,000 people who must use the food bank every month. 40% of these people are children.
Almost two thirds of the children who rely on North York Harvest Food Bank every month are under the age of 11. That means that of the 6,000 children going hungry every month – close to 4,000 children under 11 are without food.
But together we can make a huge difference in the lives of people in your community that struggle to put food on the table.
What if you simply couldn’t afford the food your child needed to be well?
That’s an issue that I must face each day.
My name is Jessica. My 9 year old son, David, lives with a disability. His doctors say he has to avoid processed foods with lots of salt and sugar because they can make his condition worse.
As you know, it’s much easier to afford processed foods than it is to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and whole grains. It can be such a struggle just to get a healthy meal on the table.
That’s why I am so grateful for North York Harvest Food Bank as well as the donors and volunteers that make these programs possible. Being able to visit the food bank makes giving David the food he needs so much easier.
I know how much these foods matter to families using food banks, not just from the impact they make in my home, but through my volunteer work. I’ve been volunteering at the food bank for as long as I’ve been a client. When we have fresh food to offer, I watch my neighbours faces light up.
I come home from every volunteer shift knowing I made a difference.
And we need YOU to help us make a difference more than ever this summer!
Summer is a difficult time at the food bank. Food donations aren’t as frequent so we have less food to share. With the kids out of school, they don’t have access to school food programs that are vital to their health.
So many of the families I see at the food bank are going through the same thing. This is why your support is so important right now.
By making a gift to North York Harvest, they can purchase the food our communities need, so no one is forced to go without during the summer.
I know what a difference your support of the food bank makes. Every time I sit down with my kids at the table to share a meal, I feel grateful that I’m part of a community that cares so much about each other.
Be a Summer Hero and your impact will be TRIPLED this summer. Every $1 you give, will be stretched to $3 worth of meals for people in need of food in your community! DONATE TODAY!
Our shelves are almost empty and we are out of stock on key items such as canned tomatoes, rice, beans, cooking oils, baby food and canned fish.
With 47 member agencies and 77 food programs throughout Toronto needing orders filled, we are having a hard time making those orders possible. We’ve had to cut back on deliveries because we are simply out of stock.
The shelves, freezer and fridge are bare. But YOU can help make a difference!
Comments Off on Income Security: A Roadmap for Change
Recently the Ontario government released a new report in an effort to deal with the issue of income security, something that affects all of us.
North York Harvest is the primary food bank for all of northern Toronto, representing more than 1/3 of the geography of the city. Each month we ensure that more than 16,000 individuals receive vital food support. Over the 30+ years our organization has been serving this community the demand for emergency food support has never been as high as it is today and we believe numbers will only continue to increase.
We are so happy to see this type of report coming out of government. This is the first report during our 30 years supporting our community that recommends major investments in and improvements to programs that affect the lives of low-income people in Ontario. The report demonstrates a commitment to a fundamentally different approach to supports and services, putting people, and their needs and rights, at the centre.
We ask you to adopt these recommendations, but, especially where OW and ODSP rates are concerned, ten years is too long to wait.
We see clearly, at our food banks and beyond that far too many Ontarians need support immediately; people are going hungry, losing their housing and suffering unnecessary health crises at this very moment because they simply do not have enough money to live a healthy and dignified life in this province.
At North York Harvest we are deeply concerned with the current state of the income security system in Ontario. 1 in 8 households in Toronto are food insecure meaning that they lack the access to the food they need to properly feed themselves or their families. Thousands of children, seniors, single parents and adults are going hungry each day in Ontario.
Food is one of the very few “flexible” costs in the lives of people on low-incomes. We know people are skipping meals, or going whole days without food, so that they can pay for housing, prescriptions and so their children can eat. This is unacceptable anywhere, but especially in a province as progressive and wealthy as ours.
The reason for this is quite clear. People cannot access the food they need because of inadequate incomes.
29% of food bank clients in Toronto are on OW and 35% are on ODSP. The fact that the majority of people we see coming through our emergency food programs are receiving social assistance clearly shows that the rates are unacceptably low.
Food banks provide an undeniably important support to thousands of people. But food banks do not replace an adequate social safety net and cannot solve the problem of food insecurity. Simply put, food bank clients will never be able to access the food they need to feed themselves and their families without sufficient incomes.
We support the vision, principles and recommendations in the Roadmap and know that, if acted upon, they would have a deep impact on the well-being of people on low-incomes in northern Toronto and would do so with dignity and respect.
We urge the province to adopt these recommendations and to do so as quickly as possible. Government must take action now to make life better for low-income people in Ontario.
There’s been lots in the news recently about how best to support food banks. We’re grateful for all of the ways our community takes action against hunger, and each type of gift is essential in making sure 16,000 people each month have the food and support they need to thrive.
Together we can make a difference and leave hunger behind!
Comments Off on
Hi There! My name is Harvey and I’m a North York Harvest delivery truck. I have an amazing job! Every day I get to drive around northern Toronto delivering nutritious food to our neighbours in need. Maybe we’ve crossed paths once or twice?
I get to visit 77 community programs in North Toronto, including food banks, shelters, meal programs, prenatal programs, community kitchens and after school programs. My job is to make sure that the food that you donate gets into the hands (and stomachs) of people that rely on these programs.
Not long ago I met Holly, a food bank member and volunteer when I dropped food off to her local food bank. She wanted me to share this message with you:
“Because of the Food Bank, not only have I made new friends, and gotten the food I need to stay healthy, I was also given the gift of giving back. I no longer just have a place to live, I have a home!”
My next stop is Kathryn. She helps women get the nutrition they need to raise healthy children. This is especially important because in some parts of the city (including where Kathryn works) 1 in 2 children live in poverty. That statistic is heartbreaking, so we’re pitching in to help. Together we’re making sure Kathryn has the food she needs to provide expecting moms with hot meals, nutritional advice and food to take home.
Later in the morning, I visit Norma. Norma runs a seniors lunch program in her neighbourhood. She told me she was so happy to see me because my delivery makes sure seniors have a hot meal to eat and friends to share it with. Thank you for making that possible! Your support allowed me to bring healthy food to Norma so she could cook up a feast for her neighbours. She told me about the first meal the group shared together – homemade chicken noodle soup. “I was almost in tears when a client told me she couldn’t remember the last time she had homemade soup.” The idea of having a homemade bowl of soup may not seem like much, but to the people I visit, it makes a world of difference.
My last delivery is to Layla at the Oriole Food Space. Layla lost everything when she had to leave her home country. Thanks to your support of the food bank, she had somewhere to go to help her get back on her feet. She wanted me to share this message with you: “Because of the food bank, I was able to feed my kids, feel safe and build a new life. I am so grateful.”
As you can see, my job is super important. But I can’t do it without you. Just like you need to fuel yourself up for busy days, I do too. Do you think you can help us raise $5000 to keep me on the road? Each month I make sure that more than 16,000 people get the food they need to thrive – and they, just like everyone else at North York Harvest Food Bank (especially me!) would be incredibly grateful for your support!
Just $50 will keep me on the road for an entire day! And if you make a gift of $250 it keeps me truckin’ for an entire week – that’s a LOT of deliveries thanks to you! THANK YOU!