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HomeHealth and LifestyleHunger Map shows more than 20,000 visits to area food banks in...

Hunger Map shows more than 20,000 visits to area food banks in 2018

KAWARTHA LAKES-A new study done in partnership with Fleming College for Feed Ontario reveals almost 4,000 individuals visited a food bank in the Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes- Brock (HKLB)catchment area in 2018, accounting for over 20,000 visits.

The study which examines food bank use data between January 1st – December 31st 2018, also reveals that Ontario’s food banks were accessed by 507,977 people who visited 3,033,970 times throughout the year – a three percent increase over 2017.

Of the 3,978 individuals who visited a food bank in HKLB in 2018, 2623 were adults and 1355 children. That means three in every 100 people in the area accessed a food bank last year.

According to the study the median income in the area is $69,399.57 with 84% home onwership and 16% rental.

Kawartha Lakes Food Source is one local organization working to fill the gap. They distribute food to 34 member agencies or organizations within the community, who provide food to 5,500 individuals according to officials. Food Source says within Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, and Northumberland County 13.5% of households are food insecure, 1.6% above the provincial average.

In May Heather Kirby, General Manager of the Kawartha Lakes Food Source, announced the kick-off of a new initiative in Lindsay intended to address the avoidable crisis of food loss and waste at a local level, with a dual mission of hunger relief and environmental protection.

“The Kawartha Lakes Food Source recognizes that we need to change the way food is valued throughout production, processing, distribution, retail, and at home”, says Heather Kirby. “Food waste accounts for nearly 60% of the industry’s environmental footprint, and most of it is completely avoidable”.

They have partnered with Second Harvest and Value Chain Management International to introduce FoodRescue.ca to the City of Kawartha Lakes. FoodRescue.ca is a free and easy-to-use online platform which connects any type of food business which would like to donate surplus food to any registered charity or non-profit organization that can make use of it. Food businesses and non-profits register online and agree to abide by safe food handling guidelines. When a business has surplus food available for donation, they create a post on FoodRescue.ca indicating the type, amount, and when it is available for pickup. The project is made possible by a $1.8 million-dollar investment from the Walmart Foundation for the study and acceleration of food rescue across Canada.

The situation is worse in Peterborough where five in every 100 people used a food bank in 2018. According to the study the Peterborough Kawartha area has a population of 118,175 people with 40,000 visits to food banks last year. The median income is $67,754.99

The Ottawa-Vanier area had the highest usage in Ontario with 15 out of 100 people needing to use the food bank. Hamilton Centre was next with 12 in 100.

The study was completed in partnership with the Fleming College Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program.

To find a food bank in your area click here:http://kawarthalakesfoodsource.com

Local food businesses and social service agencies interested in registering to be donors and food rescuers can contact Jessica Topfer at (705) 341-5088 or [email protected].

Click here to view the Hunger Map: http://map.feedontario.ca


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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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