Children constitute an ever-growing proportion of users of emergency food aid
MONTREAL, Oct. 30, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - While they represented just 37.4% of emergency food service users in 2011, children up to the age of 17 now constitute 40.9% of the total number of users, according to data collected as part of the Montreal Island Hunger Count 2012, issued by Moisson Montréal today. Every March, as part of an exercise carried out in parallel with Food Banks Canada and Québec Food Banks, Moisson Montréal surveys its 200-odd partner community organizations on the Island of Montreal to draw a picture of the state of emergency food aid. Note that the Montreal Island Hunger Count examines two aid programs in particular: distribution of food supplies, and meal or snack services.
"The fact that the proportion of children and families needing support from our partner organizations is still growing confirms, once again, a trend that we have observed since 2008," points out Dany Michaud, Executive Director of Moisson Montréal. "This is a situation of great concern, as is the fact that over 140,000 people continue to rely on emergency food aid every month on the Island of Montreal."
A few highlights of the Montreal Hunger Report 2012:
- In March 2012, 142,142 people drew on some form of emergency food aid (food supplies, meals and snacks combined) from the 198 organizations that completed the Hunger Count Survey, compared with 148,460 in March 2011 (a drop of 4.25%).
- In total, 4,833 households said they had visited a food bank for the first time in 2012, versus 4,074 in March 2011 (an increase of 18.6%).
- In March 2012, 64,214 people submitted 146,317 requests for food supplies to Moisson Montréal's partner organizations, compared with 70,926 people in March 2011 (a reduction of 9.4%). However, the number of requests remained stable.
- Over 385,153 meals and 74,624 snacks were served in March 2012. The number of meals served climbed by 14% between March 2011 and March 2012.
- Whereas it was mostly dual-parent and single-parent families that called upon the food supplies service (a combined total of 56.1% of respondents in 2012, versus 47.7% in 2011), it was mostly single people who partook of meal services (51.5% of respondents in 2012 versus 41.3% in 2011).
- Households whose main source of income is social assistance represent 61.5% of the respondents who took advantage of food supply services in March 2012; they are followed by households whose main source of income is employment, which constitute 10.8% of respondents.
"We can be glad of the fact that the slow economic recovery may have enabled some people to stabilize their financial situation and do without emergency food aid,"comments Dany Michaud. "However, we are forced to admit that the problem of hunger, closely linked to that of low income, is ongoing for too many people and families in Montreal. Not only do we need a true assessment of how far minimum wage and welfare benefits can take people in relation to the cost of living, we must collectively seek out lasting solutions to get ALL Montrealers out of the daily cycle of hunger. This is the invitation we are sending today to all players in the field of economic and social development."
The full version of the Montreal Hunger Report 2012 is available at http://www.moissonmontreal.org/en/medias.html
About Moisson Montréal
Moisson Montréal is a major recuperation and sorting centre handling foodstuffs donated to emergency food aid, which are distributed free of charge, all year long, to over 200 community organizations on the Island of Montreal. Every month, 142,142 people, of whom 40.9% are children, are helped by the organizations thus supplied. Moisson Montréal is a non-profit organization funded mainly by donations, which relies on the collaboration of 3,740 volunteers every year.
SOURCE: MOISSON MONTREAL
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