Food bank use skyrockets across Ontario

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Tanya Beaudette, a volunteer at the Agape Centre, arranges a small amount of pop-tart boxes in the food bank.

More than 400,000 Ontarians have accessed food banks, or associated programs, monthly according to disturbing new data released Monday.

The Ontario Association of Food Banks said in a report that 412,000 people made use of hunger-relief programs - an all-time high figure.

That number includes many local individuals, said Alyssa Blais, executive dorector of the Agape Centre in Cornwall.

“In this community alone, there are over 1,000 children and adults accessing our hunger-relief services every month” said Blais.

The provincial food banks association in continuing to plead that recommendations in a report its filed in 2011be implemented.

The idea is to pressure senior levels of government to create a housing benefit for low-income individuals and a tax credit for farmers, among others.

“Every day there are children going to school without breakfast, adults working through the day without lunch, and seniors going to bed without dinner, simply because they cannot afford food to eat,” says Bill Laidlaw, Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Food Banks, in a release.

The Ontario Hunger Report is a compilation of data collected through the annual HungerCount report of Food Banks Canada. The full report is available online at www.OAFB.ca.

Organizations: Ontario Association of Food Banks, Agape Centre

Geographic location: Ontario, Cornwall

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