KAWARTHA LAKES-There is more people using local food banks and less food being donated according to Kawartha Lakes Food Source.
On November 28, 2022, Feed Ontario released its annual Hunger Report, which analyses food bank use between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022. The report indicates an unchanging and persistent rise in food bank visits and unique food bank visitors in 2022. Struggling Ontarians continue to rely on food banks more frequently in an attempt to mitigate unmanageable costs of living and gaps in public policies.
The 2022 Hunger Report found costs of food and other living expenses are causing food banks to experience a decrease in food donations, all while facing a 42% increase in visits and 64% increase in first-time users over the last three years. Ultimately, food banks are struggling to keep up with the volume of food bank users and the amount of food needed to feed their clients.
Unfortunately, individuals and food banks within the City of Kawartha Lakes are experiencing the same lack of sustainability within the system according to Kawartha Lakes Food Source. The amount of food Kawartha Lakes Food Source (KLFS) is receiving at their distribution centre is steadily decreasing, while the number of individuals seeking the help of their member food banks is generally on the rise.
“2022 is no different at KLFS: we have acquired a total of 111 616 units of food since January 1, 2022, and, with only three weeks left in the year, we are on track to receive the lowest quantity of food at our distribution centre since 2014.” said Heather Kirby KLFS.
Kawartha Lakes Food Source, a member of Feed Ontario says it stands with their recommendations, as listed below.
1. Provide gig workers (ex. Uber or Instacart drivers) with the same employment protections as other sectors
Recommendation: With nearly 1 in 10 workers in Ontario in the ‘gig economy,’ classify gig workers as employees to ensure that they receive the same protections provided under the Employment Standards Act, Employment Insurance, and the Canada Pension Plan.
2. Close the gap on poverty by increasing social assistance rates to a basic standard of living
Recommendation: Double the support provided through Ontario’s social assistance programs, to ensure people who are trying to get back on their feet or who are living with a disability can afford basic necessities that support their health, well-being, and ability to participate in their communities.
3. Make affordable housing accessible so people don’t have to choose between paying the rent or buying food
Recommendation: Invest in the costed plan of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association that makes recommendations for new and renovated affordable housing options over the next 10 years.
4. Put people with lived experience at the centre of policy and program design
Recommendation: Include consultation and the perspective of people with lived experience in the design and development of all programs, policies and policy changes, and support initiatives.
What can you do to fight hunger? Support those that are hungry locally, in our community, by donating food or money to Kawartha Lakes Food Source.
To make a donation visit www.kawarthalakesfoodsource.com or call 705- 324-0707.