We’re doing it again!
December 16th 2010, HoHoTO returns for the third installment, bigger and better than ever.
The organizers pulled together the first event in 2008 over the course of 48 hours. The second iteration took a bit longer. This year, we set a lofty goal to exceed all of our contributions from 2008 & 2009 in one event – that’s over $80k and several thousand pounds of food! We know that this goal would take more time and a lot more effort. And once again, this goal needs YOU – our amazing supporters, our champions and our HoHoTO family.
HoHoTO has proven to be an extraordinary example of the power of self-organizing online communities. The Toronto technology, digital marketing and social media communities come together, through their Twitter streams and Gmail accounts, to create what has become one of the biggest and most exciting seasonal gatherings in Toronto. Together we can grab the attention of the media, authors and even a Queen. Together we inspire case studies, blog posts and a few bright lights to head to YouTube to send us holiday greetings. We can get prizes and make sure that your online avatar is updated for the holidays. We can even convince the army to donate their time and muscles to the food collection.
All of this is remarkable, but that’s not really why we all come together each year to do this. We do this because sadly there is a need. People in our community need our help.
The Daily Bread Food Bank (the beneficiary of our fundraising efforts) gives us the hard and devastating facts that compel us all to work so hard. This past year, food banks have experienced the largest increase in client visits since social assistance rates were cut by 21.6 per cent in 1995. The percentage of children 18 years of age and under requiring food banks remains the same, while the percentage of people 45 years of age or older using food banks is getting larger.
- Overall number of client visits to food banks across the GTA: 1,187,000
- Percentage increase in client visits since 2009: 15%
- Percentage of children 18 years of age and under using food banks: 34%
- Percentage of adults 45 years of age and older using food banks: 28%
- Percentage of children who go hungry at least once a week: 15%
- Percentage of adults who go hungry at least once a week: 39%
Those are the stats, but these numbers – though startling – can’t really give us the full picture.
Imagine that the monthly household income of your family is $1000. Yes, we said monthly and that’s the median average household income. Now, subtract your average monthly rent (market only) of $750 and your average monthly utilities of $120. What does that leave you…according to our math, $130 per month or about $32.50 per week. Now, you can understand why 54 per cent of single persons and 42 per cent of other household types have not eaten for a whole day because of lack of money. Imagine. Many of us spend more on coffee over the course of a month.
It just breaks our hearts. That is the reason that each year, we come together for HoHoTO. We wish we could do more, but we know for a fact that the efforts we make together as the HoHoTO community, has an immediate impact in the wider Toronto community.
We have fun putting together a celebration and we are proud of the spectacles we have created since 2008. But, at our core, we all know why we do this. We have realized this degree of overwhelming success because you understand the need, you are passionate about making a difference and you have committed to seeing our collective goal realized.
No one uses a food bank because they want to – they use it because they need to. Let’s work together this month and next to help those who need it most. Give all that you can…no amount is too small, every bit of support is appreciated. Let’s make this the best HoHoTO event so that we can all be proud of having a real impact in our community.
About The Daily Bread Food Bank:
Daily Bread Food Bank is fighting to end hunger in our communities.
As the hub of the food bank community in Toronto, Daily Bread supports over 170 member agencies in running different kinds of food relief programs. Our agencies run neighbourhood food banks where people come to access food hampers, as well as meal programs where people can access prepared meals such as soups or casseroles.
We are the largest provider of emergency food relief in the GTA. Daily Bread member agencies see a monthly average of 73,000 client visits Our agencies serve the majority of the clients accessing food bank hampers in the city and many of the clients accessing prepared meals. Our boundaries encompass the former cities of East York, Toronto, Scarborough, Etobicoke and York.
Daily Bread is non-partisan and all-inclusive. Our supporters come from every income bracket, cultural background, faith group and walk of life. Whether informed by faith or social justice, the one thing our supporters have in common is the belief that no one in our communities should go hungry.