There are three recommendations from this year’s Food Banks United report.

Voices United 2020: Food Bank Clients Speak Out recommends:

  • Close the gap between current social assistance rates and the actual cost of
    basic necessities
  • Utilize the current definition of disability under the Ontario Disability Support
    Program
  • Encourage all levels of government to make decisions through a poverty lens.

The report says Voices United 2020 is the first report in our region to describe firsthand the challenges that food bank clients face.

According to a media release, several municipal mayors, councilors, Members of Provincial Parliament Jim MacDonnell and Steve Clark and Member of Parliament Eric Duncan attended the virtual meeting report launch on July 23rd.

Clark says the information from the report is not going to sit on a shelf and will be shared widely.

Food Banks United is made up of several food banks including: House of Lazarus, the South Grenville Food Bank, Agap√® Centre, Community Food Share and Rideau Community Health Services. In 2019, the food banks conducted client surveys covering topics like employment, transportation, food stability, and health, according to the release. The survey results and client testimonials turned into the 35-page report with the goal “to invoke discussion of the needs of the most vulnerable in our community and to call to action each community member, community agency and business, as well as each level of government, to make choices that give hope to those living in poverty.”

To get a digital copy of the report, contact the South Grenville Food Bank at foodforallbonnie@bellnet.ca or call 613-925-244 extension 2. For a hard copy, visit the food bank at 136 Henry Street West in Prescott. In Merrickville, contact Rideau Community Health Services Emergency Food Cupboard through jmcintyre@rideauchs.ca or 613-269-3400. Or go to 354 Read Street in Merrickville.

Any comments on the Voices United 2020 report, can go to Amanda King from Feed Ontario at amanda@feedontario.ca or call 416-656-4100 extension 2932.