The Banque d’aliments Sudbury Food bank is one of the very few businesses that will be totally successful once we are out of business. We want hunger in Sudbury to be a thing of the past. When Food Banks first started they were to be a short-term solution to help in our communities as a bandage to get through tough economic times.
Well, it’s been 21 years since the Food banks were started in Ontario towns and cities. They are now becoming predominate in the social safety nets in our communities. In many communities including ours, The Food Bank and its partners, are the only solutions for large numbers of our populations.
Our mission is to “ensure that everyone in our community has enough to eat.” Regrettably due to economics, rising populations of homelessness, higher poverty levels, lack of affordable rents and service fee increases and the lowering of social assistance benefits. It is unlikely that the need for Food Banks and Food Services providers is going to disappear any time soon.
Our hunger count shows two segments of our population becoming even larger users of the Food Bank systems. They are- two working parent families with children. These are individuals working part-time or long hours for minimum wages jobs, often on call, trying to change their lot in society. This group, the Working Poor, is now 15% of our client base.
The second is pensioners. Their numbers have increased by over 6%. Many of them do not have mortgages, but they did not plan for all the new user fees. Their actual pension needs, unexpected medical expenses, etc.
Our hunger count in the Sudbury Region for March 2009 shows that 11,476 people use Food banks or food provider services in our communities on a monthly basis. 6,123 of them are children.
Our entire community benefits when no one goes to bed hungry. It is proven that malnutrition can cause intellectual and developmental difficulties in children, and in addition, the stress on parents of being unable to feed your children can weigh heavily. Public health and security issues, can also be directly impacted by hunger your support is needed more than ever, so be sure to head out to one or several of BDSFB’s great family events.
In 2008 over 289 tons of food or 578,280 lbs. of food was distributed through BDSFB to the 45 Member Agencies in our region. You may be surprised about who has to use food banks. Member Agencies stretch across our entire region; from Espanola and Nairn Centre, to Onaping, Levack, Hanmer, Capreol Wahnapitae, Coniston, Markstay, most areas of Sudbury, and all points between. So any time you assist us you could be helping your friend neighbours and possibly even family.
Almost all Food banks and Food providers in our region are operated by volunteers (and thank God for them), unfortunately they are mainly fire fighters putting out immediate concerns rather than planning for the future. That is why the Banque d’aliments Sudbury Food bank is so important to them.
The Sudbury Food Bank is an umbrella organization that assists our 45 member food agencies to maintain dependable and continuous streams of food for the people in our community that need it. We are not aware of any food provider that was not able to assist its clients due to lack of food since our inception.
We continue to strive for the development of additional community partners in all our endeavors. Everyone is aware that the right to have enough Food, Clothing and Shelter, is a right of everyone in a caring, democratic, society and a goal that everyone should be working towards.
The Sudbury Food Bank’s mandate in this is food. Every dollar we raise goes to food on someone’s table in our community who needs it. Donated Dollars are not used to cover operational expenses!
I would like to thank all our community partners, volunteers and business and personal donators for being there for our areas' hungry, and being part of this great opportunity to help our neighbors, family and friends. Our area's poor appreciate that.
People and only people can make a true difference in someone else’s life. There are organizations that do great things; but ultimately it all boils down to people. Your caring, your generosity, and your commitment, is what allows our great community to continue to take care of its' hungry.