Fall Drive launches with release of new report on hunger

TORONTO, Sept. 21, 2011 /CNW/ - As Ontario's economy has struggled to recover, so has Daily Bread and member agencies like Nellie's, a shelter that provides meal programs to homeless women and their children in downtown Toronto and where a new report on hunger in the GTA was released today.

"After unsustainable increases of 8 per cent in 2009 and 16 per cent in 2010, client visits are starting to edge down and we can finally report a small decrease in client visits by 9 per cent last year," announced Gail Nyberg, Executive Director at Daily Bread Food Bank. "The bad news is that with 1.1 million client visits, GTA food banks are still seeing 130,000 more client visits a year than they were before the recession three years ago."

Many who need the support don't come to food banks because they struggle with the stigma associated in coming to a food bank. While the number of people coming to a food bank is an indicator of how broken the social assistance system is and how many people are living in poverty, it merely scratches the surface.

"Sixty-seven per cent of food bank clients are receiving social assistance of some kind. That means the 'social safety net' we supposedly have in this province has serious holes in it, and needs a transformation", says Richard Matern, Acting Director of Research and author of the Who's Hungry 2011: Profile of Hunger in the GTA report. The report was based on information from one-on-one interviews with food bank clients across the GTA.

According to this new report, the average monthly income for a food bank client in the GTA is $925, and 72 per cent of that goes just to cover rent and housing costs. "That leaves $5.67 a day for food, clothes medicine…it's not even enough for a round trip on the TTC", says Matern.

"Hunger is not about food, it's about poverty", said Gail Nyberg, Daily Bread's executive director. "While the fall is traditionally harvest time in Ontario, many people can't afford to share in that harvest, which is why we're reminding people of Toronto there are still far too many people in need and to donate generously during this year's Fall Drive." The Fall Drive starts today and runs until October 14th. Daily Bread is hoping to raise $400,000 and 400,000 pounds of food over the next few weeks.

The Fall Drive runs through to October 14th. Donations can be made securely, online at www.dailybread.ca or by calling 416-203-0050. Cheques can be mailed to Daily Bread Food Bank at 191 New Toronto Street, Toronto ON M8V 2E7. Drop off nutritious, non-perishable food at any fire hall throughout the year or any local Loblaws, Loblaws Great Food, valu-mart, nofrills or Real Canadian Superstore as well as participating grocery stores. Most needed food items include: baby formula and food; peanut butter; canned fruit or vegetables; canned fish or meat; dried pasta and tomato sauce; powdered, canned or tetra pak cartons of milk; macaroni and cheese; bags of rice; cans of lentils and beans; hearty soup or stew and bags of lentils.

As Canada's largest food bank, Daily Bread Food Bank serves people through neighbourhood food banks and meal programs in almost 170 member agencies across Toronto. Find out more about Daily Bread at www.dailybread.ca.

The printing of the Who's Hungry Report was generously supported by MacLaser Printing Inc.

Daily Bread Food Bank is fighting to end hunger in our communities.


SOURCE Daily Bread Food Bank

For further information:

Sarah Anderson
(A) Director, Communications
T: 416-203-0050 ext. 238
E: sarah@dailybread.ca
M: 416-450-2196


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