A Message From Our Executive Director
The Banque d’aliments Sudbury Food Bank (BDSFB) 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 29 years since the Food banks were started in Ontario towns and cities. They are now predominate in the social safety nets in all communities including ours. The Food Bank and its partners, are the only solutions for large numbers of our population.
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 low social assistance benefits, as well as the present trends in regards to hiring in market sectors, 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 security systems.
The first are one or two working parent families with children. These are individuals working part-time or long hours for minimum wage jobs, perhaps working even two or three jobs at a time, often on call, trying to change their lot in society. This group, the working poor, is now 19% of our client base.
The second is pensioners. Their numbers have increased by over 11%. 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 2018 shows that 11,470 people use food banks or food provider services in our communities on a monthly basis. 6,569 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 2017 over 462 tons of food or 924,000 lbs. of food was distributed through the BDSFB to the 44 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 their time is largely consumed by acting like fire fighters: putting out the immediate concerns of their members (service users). That is why the fund and food raising efforts of the BDSFB is so important to them.
The BDSFB is an umbrella organization that assists our 44 member food agencies to maintain dependable and continuous streams of food for the people in our community that need it. In 2017, thanks to an expansion in recent years to our food programs, we supplied more fresh, dairy, meat, eggs, and frozen food supplies, to our member agencies than non-perishable food items. We are not aware of any food provider that was not able to assist its members (service users) due to lack of food since our inception.
We continue to strive for the development of additional community partners in all our endeavours. 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 neighbours, family and friends. Our area’s less fortunate appreciate your caring.
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.
Executive Director, BDSFB