The issue of increased demand on community food banks was raised at Queen’s Park last week. The annual HungerCount report shows food bank usage has risen more than 14% since 2008. We spoke to one local food bank, House of Lazarus in Mountain. Client Service Manager Kim Merkley says the days of looking at the food bank as a temporary bandage solution are long gone, with ever rising cost of food, housing and transportation, especially in the rural areas.
Most food bank clients are at the working poor level, with both spouses working for minimum wage and struggling to get from pay cheque to pay cheque. They are unable to meet their very basic needs. People need to realize that food banks are more than just a temporary solution. They are a necessary way of life for many families. Over 1/3 of food bank users are children.
Take a moment to give to your local food bank this holiday season. Ensure that the food you donate is healthy and hearty, like peanut butter, tuna, pasta and sauce.