HuffPost Canada closed in 2021 and this site is maintained as an online archive. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact support@huffpost.com.

Ontario Association of Food Banks

As the job market continues to contort and contract through the shifting of jobs, wages, and stability -- there is a growing voice, a growing question -- how do we make sure people across this province have the means to eat, to live, to thrive? How can we ensure that Ontarians are able to meet their most basic needs?
This past holiday season, food banks all across Ontario benefited from the generosity of their communities. Ontarians came together to donate food and financial support, both of which will make an enormous difference in the lives of people who struggle to make ends meet. Yet as the holiday lights and warmth fade and we head back into everyday life, we must not forget that this is not enough. In Ontario alone, it is estimated that 770,000 people visit food banks annually, and 20 per cent of food banks run out of supplies at least once every year. In a province that has more than enough food for everyone, why is this happening?
It must be fall, bringing with it Thanksgiving. This October, however, more than 16,000 families in Ontario will have no other choice but to visit a food bank for the first time in their entire lives. And while the idea of turkey dinner with all the trimmings certainly sounds delicious, for over 375,000 adults and children, it is simply not the reality of the season.
The need for food support does not, however, stop with students under the age of 18. Post-secondary and recent university graduates are one of the fastest growing groups of food bank users across the province. With growing tuition rates, on campus living accommodations, and money for textbooks it's no surprise the wallets of students are being stretched to the limits.
At the provincial level, the Ontario Association of Food Banks strongly believes that the provincial government can and should take a more active role in tackling the root causes of hunger. This Hunger Awareness Week, ask yourself: who do you think uses food banks, and more importantly, why? Together, we can take a stand against hunger and poverty.
This month, the Ontario Association of Food Banks released their annual Hunger Report, highlighting the prevalence of food bank use and the need for emergency food services in this province. This past March, 375,789 Ontarians accessed a food bank. As you finish up your holiday shopping, please remember that there are so many Canadians going without this festive season.
A near-record number of Ontarians are using food banks, according to a new report. The Ontario Association of Food Banks
This tax credit is groundbreaking for two reasons; the first of which being that farmers deserve, and need, a tax credit to help cover the costs of harvesting and transporting produce to food banks. Until this week, farmers donated thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables out of sheer generosity to our provincial food bank network.
Food banks started in Canada many years ago as what is often described as a "band-aid solution" to the growing issue of hunger. Food banks were supposed to be temporary, local groups that fed the poor, while the government developed the official resolution to this societal problem. Unfortunately, this resolution was never found, and food banks are now a staple in each corner of Canada. Believe me when I say that food banks do not want to be in business. As a provincial association, a large part of our focus is on advocating on behalf of food banks and the clients that we serve. There is a reason that people are hungry, and it is not because of a lack of food in this country.
With the current economic state in Ontario, many individuals are struggling to put meals on the table each and every day. Prices are rising across the board for food staples, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find accessible, affordable, and nutritious food. Since being re-introduced to legislature, the Local Food Act has passed its first reading.