Response to summertime drop in donations: Steelworkers Humanity Fund contributes $90,000 to Canadian food banks

    TORONTO, July 30 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers' (USW) National Director Ken
Neumann today announced contributions by the Steelworkers Humanity Fund of
$90,000 to food banks across Canada in communities where USW members live and
    Neumann, who is also president of the Humanity Fund, said the
contributions are being distributed now instead of Christmas, "in response to
requests from food banks to contribute at a time when the need is great, but
when most Canadians are not contributing.
    "These contributions are made in hope, but also out of frustration. We
hope that the contributions of USW members, through the Steelworkers Humanity
Fund, will help alleviate the hardship faced by thousands of poor and
vulnerable Canadians across the country. At the same time there is a sense of
frustration that contributions to food banks are necessary at all in a country
as wealthy as Canada."
    Neumann said the facts speak for themselves, namely:

      -  Every month more than 700,000 Canadians rely on food banks;
      -  Almost five million Canadians live in poverty;
      -  Poverty among Aboriginal groups remains appallingly high both on and
         off reserves;
      -  The Campaign 2000 Report Card for 2007 shows that the child poverty
         rate was 11.7 per cent in 2007 - exactly the same as it was in 1989.

    "The USW again calls on governments at all levels to make poverty
reduction an urgent and ongoing priority," said Neumann. "There are
well-thought-out proposals and projects aimed at seriously addressing issues
of poverty in Canada, including child poverty, poverty endemic among First
Nations and recent immigrants and refugees."
    The USW participates in several national and community-based coalitions
advocating concrete measures to address poverty. The union also calls on
governments to immediately raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour; expand
affordable housing; build a universally-accessible child care system; and
invest in programs such as Employment Insurance and the Child Tax Benefit.
    "What is urgently required is a national poverty-reduction program that
includes a good-jobs strategy," said Neumann.
    For more information on poverty in Canada, and what can be done, visit
the following:

      - (Canadian Association of Food Banks);
      - for a copy of "Work Isn't
         Working for Ontario Families: The Role of Good Jobs in Ontario's
         Poverty Reduction Strategy";
      - (Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives).

    The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is a registered charitable organization
(11917 2278 RR0001) founded by the United Steelworkers in 1985. Steelworker
members contribute to the Fund through clauses negotiated into collective
agreements, which most commonly provide for a contribution of $20 per year per
union member. In a number of important collective agreements matching
contributions have been negotiated from employers.
    The mandate of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund is to address issues of
hunger and poverty, primarily in the developing world, through development
assistance and emergency aid.

    Food Bank                                    Location
    Brantford Food Bank                          Brantford, ON
    Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank                Calgary, AB
    Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank                Cambridge, ON
    Agape Centre                                 Cornwall, ON
    Cowichan Valley Basket Society               Duncan, BC
    Edmonton Gleaners Association                Edmonton, AB
    Elkford Food Bank                            Elkford, BC
    Elliot Lake Emergency Food Bank              Elliot Lake, ON
    Food and Toy Bank                            Fort St. James
    Spiritwind Christian Centre of Guelph        Guelph, ON
    Hamilton Food Share                          Hamilton, ON
    Wesley Urban Ministries Inc.                 Hamilton, ON
    Hawkesbury Central Food Bank                 Hawkesbury, ON
    Kamloops Food Bank and Outreach Society      Kamloops, BC
    Kirkland Lake Food Bank                      Kirkland Lake, ON
    Waterloo Region Food Bank                    Kitchener, ON
    Labrador West Ministerial Food Bank          Labrador City, NF
    London and Area Food Bank                    London, ON
    Women's Community House                      London, ON
    Food Path                                    Mississauga, ON
    Cuisines Collectives Hochelaga-Maisonneuve   Montreal, QC
    Les Oeuvres de la maison du pere             Montreal, QC
    Pictou County Food Bank Association          New Glasglow, NS
    North Bay Soup Kitchen Inc.                  North Bay, ON
    Regina and District Food Bank                Regina, SK
    Saskatoon Food Bank                          Saskatoon, SK
    Sault Ste. Marie Soup Kitchen                Sault Ste. Marie, ON
    Simcoe Caring Cupboard                       Simcoe, ON
    South Porcupine Food Bank                    South Porcupine, ON
    Sparwood Food Bank                           Sparwood, BC
    Community Food Sharing Association           St. John's, NF
    C.A.P. St-Barnabe Inc.                       St-Barnabe, QC
    Blue Door Café Sudbury Soup Kitchen          Sudbury, ON
    Sudbury Food Bank                            Sudbury, ON
    Surrey Food Bank Society                     Surrey, BC
    Thunder Bay Shelter House                    Thunder Bay, ON
    Capuchin Outreach to the Poor (Parkdale)     Toronto, ON
    Daily Bread Food Bank                        Toronto, ON
    Food Share                                   Toronto, ON
    North York Harvest Food Bank                 Toronto, ON
    Stop 103 Inc.                                Toronto, ON
    Salvation Army Food Bank (British Columbia)  Trail, BC
    Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society          Vancouver, BC
    Salvation Army Food Bank (Manitoba)          Winnipeg, MB
    Winnipeg Harvest Inc.                        Winnipeg, MB

For further information:

For further information: Ken Neumann, (416) 487-1571 or (416) 558-2510;
Doug Olthuis (Executive Director, Steelworkers Humanity Fund), (416) 544-5957

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