TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - As Daily Bread Food Bank launches its Thanksgiving Drive, a new report released today shows why it's more important than ever to give.
"While there has been a slight decrease in the percentage of children having to get food from a food bank, there has been an increase in the percentage of those children who are going hungry at least once a week. Same is true for adults—the hungry are getting hungrier," said Richard Matern, acting director of research and the author of the newest Who's Hungry: Faces of Hunger report.
This is the fourth year in a row that number of visits to food banks across the GTA has topped a million. Four years later, food bank visits remain 18 per cent above pre-recession levels and aren't budging. "Poverty is not just a downtown Toronto problem and hasn't been for awhile," said Gail Nyberg, executive director of Daily Bread. "The suburbs are catching up. You can compare it to a doughnut, and downtown Toronto was the big hole in the middle where problems of hunger were especially visible. Now that hole is getting bigger and food bank visits are rising all over the GTA."
Donating to the Thanksgiving Drive will help provide food to families who are struggling, but long-term solutions are needed to stop hunger. One of the solutions that Daily Bread is supporting is a proposed Ontario housing benefit that would help people pay some of the gap between rent and income.
"We are hopeful that a housing benefit will be championed by the Social Assistance Review of Ontario when their report comes out this fall. We know it can work to make a difference in lives of people who have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table," said Matern. Currently, a person coming to a food bank spends an average of 71 per cent of what little income they have on putting a roof over their heads.
"That leaves the table bare, the cupboards empty and line ups at food banks even longer," said Nyberg. "If you want to see less people forced to come to food banks, then the government needs to implement a policy such as the housing benefit to start making a real difference in the fight against hunger."
Download the full Who's Hungry: Faces of Hunger report at www.dailybread.ca.
The Thanksgiving Drive runs until October 14. You can make a difference by donating online at www.dailybread.ca or by calling 416-203-0050. Drop off nutritious, non-perishable food at any local Toronto fire hall, 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; rice; lentils and beans (canned or dried); hearty soup or stew.
Thank you to MacLaser Printing Inc. for sponsoring the printing of the Who's Hungry report.
Daily Bread Food Bank is fighting to end hunger in our communities.
SOURCE: Daily Bread Food Bank
For further information:
(A) Director of Communications
T: 416-203-0050 ext. 238