Over 412,000 Ontarians accessing Food Banks every month.
TORONTO, Dec. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - A new report released today by the Ontario
Association of Food Banks (OAFB) revealed alarming new data: food bank
use in Ontario has hit an all-time high, with over 412,000 Ontarians
accessing food support and hunger-relief programs every month.
"The face of hunger is changing," says Bill Laidlaw, Executive Director
of the OAFB. "The largest group of food bank users are children, with
160,000 kids accessing food banks monthly. What's more, some of the
largest growing groups of food bank users are single parent households,
the working poor, senior citizens, university students, and recent
There are many issues that have contributed to this spike in food bank
use, which is up from 395,000 in 2011 and 374,000 during the 2008
recession. "The challenges we've had in agriculture this year, rising
food and living costs, the flooding in Northern Ontario, plant closures
and layoffs, and funding cuts to social assistance programs have all
played a role in the increased need for food assistance," says Laidlaw.
Details of the report's findings include:
412,998 individuals, including 159,918 children, accessed Ontario's food
banks in March 2012 alone
174,618 households accessed food banks, this year, for the first time in
19% of food banks in Ontario do not have adequate supplies to address
the growing need in their community
The Ontario Association of Food Banks is continuing to pursue the
recommendations for change that it made in its 2011 Hunger Report,
including: increased access to affordable healthy food, advocating for
a housing benefit for low income individuals, a tax credit for farmers,
and a push for the Ontario government to address the root causes of
hunger by implementing policy changes that will lead to long-term
sustainable solutions, and ultimately make food banks unnecessary.
"Every day there are children going to school without breakfast, adults
working through the day without lunch, and seniors going to bed without
dinner, simply because they cannot afford food to eat," says Laidlaw.
"It is our hope that you will help us by speaking to your local MPPs
and asking them to put hunger on the agenda, as well as by supporting
your local food bank. In this province, and in this country, hunger and
access to healthy food should not be an issue."
The Ontario Hunger Report is a compilation of data collected through the
annual HungerCount report of Food Banks Canada. The full report is
available online at www.OAFB.ca.
About Ontario Association of Food Banks
The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) is a network of 120 food
banks and over 1,100 hunger relief programs and agencies across the
province. Together, we serve 412,000 individuals, including 160,000
children, every month. The OAFB is committed to reducing hunger through
sustainable solutions that ensure the long-term health and success of
communities across the province.
SOURCE: Ontario Association of Food Banks
For further information:
For more information or to request an interview with Bill Laidlaw, please contact:
Amanda Finley King, Ontario Association of Food Banks
firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-656-4100 x2932