Caledon Community Services join efforts to ‘Feed the Change’ during Hunger Action Month
by Danielle Marr
Did you know that one out of every six families accessing food banks are working and still can’t make ends meet?
September is Hunger Action Month and Caledon Community Services are working hard to help raise awareness about the solvable problem of hunger in Canada.
The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) serves upwards of 360,000 residents in the province every month – 293 of those visit the CCS food bank at The Exchange.
After experiencing dramatic cuts in the 90s, social assistance has not kept up with the rising cost of living in this province, and according to CCS, not in our community.
“People on OW and ODSP simply do not have enough to cover their rent, utilities, transportation and especially their food costs,” they outlined in a release.
According to Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director of the OAFB, hunger is a solvable issue but not without the support of provincial and municipal governments if long-term change is the plan.
CCS, as a partner of the OAFB, joined into the efforts to ‘Feed the Change.’
During Hunger Awareness Week The Exchange invited a number of local officials to peel and chop apples so they could experience the action of a food bank for themselves ahead of the OAFB Day of Action at Queen’s Park.
“We thought it would be great to have the local politicians in here so that when they are asked at Queen’s Park, they can speak to it because they have seen it first hand,” said Kim D’Eri, Manager of Community Animation at The Exchange.
Caledon Councillor Rob Mezzapelli, Mayor Allan Thompson and MPP Sylvia Jones got in on the action.
The politicians joined Exchange staff and members of Brampton Caledon Community Living, one of 13 partners of The Exchange who actively pursue activities of daily living with program members in the kitchen at The Exchange.
“Their participation in our Focus on Hunger Day to launch Hunger Action Month/Hunger Awareness Week in Caledon was a perfect fit,” said CCS Marketing and Communications Manager, Donna Cragg.
Thursday (Sept. 21) was the OAFB Day of Action at Queens Park where provincial and municipal politicians were asked to follow through on three recommendations – to follow through on the Basic Income Pilot project as outlined in the 2016 provincial budget, to strengthen policies that make housing affordable for all Ontarians, and to improve social assistance rates while testing better methods for lifting people out of poverty.