The number of households in Ontario turning to food banks increased significantly this year, according to the Ontario Association of Food Banks.In total, 17,182 households accessed food banks in March 2014 compared to 14,206 households last year.
To further explain the need for funding and why help is needed we asked Tanya, a DB Production Assistant, a few questions on her experience at the Daily Bread Food Bank:
Tell me a bit about yourself and how you got to Daily Bread.
I started working at Daily Bread in 2011 as the Production Assistant, through a program called Investing in Neighbourhoods. It’s a program that works with not-for-profits to provide jobs for people on OW (Ontario Works). I’d done community studies at school and loved the idea of working at a not-for-profit that made a difference. I remember the first time I came to Daily Bread and being totally amazed by how organized the production area and warehouse inventory systems were. It’s been almost 4 years now and every day I feel like I make a difference.
Why do you think that food banks use has increased as much as it has?
Well, the recession in 2008 didn’t help. In my mind it’s about jobs and income. Too many people are having trouble finding jobs and many that do still aren’t brining home enough money. Prices are going up everywhere, but people aren’t making more. They need food banks.
What is your holiday wish this season?
I wish nobody needed to come to Daily Bread – I wish there wasn’t a need for food banks. It’s too bad we exist. But until that day, thank god we are here for people.
How can people help year-round?
So many people help us year-round. But my advice to people would be simple – share your time, your money, your food. Be aware – and teach your kids – about the need for food banks and the good work Daily Bread does in the community.