National Volunteer Week and PUT FOOD IN THE BUDGET's Plea

National Volunteer Week and PUT FOOD IN THE BUDGET's Plea

National Volunteer Week, April 10 to 16, is Canada’s largest celebration of volunteers, volunteerism, and civic participation.

To Canadian volunteers everywhere,
Thank you!

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s leading grantmaking foundations.

As an agency of the Government of Ontario, the mission of the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is building healthy and vibrant communities throughout Ontario by strengthening the capacity of the voluntary sector, through investments in community-based initiatives.

To all volunteers and volunteer organizations in Ontario, Canada, Put Food in the Budget has the following important plea for reducing reliance on overburdened food banks and meal programs across Ontario.

National Volunteer Week and PUT FOOD IN THE BUDGET's Plea

National Volunteer Week and PUT FOOD IN THE BUDGET's Plea

News Release

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

PUT FOOD IN THE BUDGET and Reduce Reliance on Overburdened Food Banks and Meal Programs across Ontario.

The leadership of the Put Food in the Budget campaign believes Premier McGuinty is putting too much responsibility on the voluntary sector to meet the increasing burden of poverty in Ontario. We are starting this month to reach out to volunteers and staff who work at food banks and emergency food programmes. We are asking you to forward the update below to the people you know in your community who run food banks and emergency meal programmes. Ask them to consider endorsing the demand for an immediate $100 a month increase in social assistance. Also ask them to complete the survey – many people ask questions of people who use food banks – but not of the people who operate them. Our request is also being emailed to food banks by the Ontario Association of Food Banks and we appreciate their support. Not every food bank belongs to the OAFB and we’d like to reach out to as many as we can. So please – pass this along and encourage people you know to respond. It is increasingly obvious that the Volunteer Sector in Ontario, not our government, is shouldering the bulk of responsibility for our neighbours in need. If you agree, then please support the campaign by doing one or all of the following:

  1. How can you get involved? Action!
  2. Take Our Survey!
  3. Background Information.
  4. Quotes from the HUNGER COUNT 2010 Report.
  5. Spread the Word

  1. How can you get involved? Action!:  It is increasingly obvious that the Volunteer Sector in Ontario, not our government, is shouldering the bulk of responsibility for our neighbours in need. If you agree, then please support the campaign by doing one or all of the actions listed below.If you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of meeting the growing demands in your food bank or meal program, please add your voice to ours and support the PUT FOOD IN THE BUDGET CAMPAIGN.
      Go to our website and find out how you can add your voice to the request for the immediate implementation of a $100/month Healthy Food Supplement for all adults on Social Assistance.
      Call Yvonne at York Region Food Network (905)967-0428 Ext 205 to find out more. Or email Yvonne by clicking here!

    **Read more about this campaign and quotes from volunteers working on the front-lines in food banks and meal programs, in our Put Food in the Budget Background Sheet.

    Put Food in the Budget Campaign
    c/o Yvonne Kelly
    York Region Food Network
    510 Penrose St. Newmarket, ON
    L3Y 1A2

      Ask your Board of Directors to sign the attached endorsement form and send it to the address above.
      Send a copy of your Endorsement Page to your Local MPP to signify your concerns and your plea for the $100/month Healthy Food Supplement. And/or write a letter to your MPP requesting the same.
  2. Take Our Survey!:  Click here to take our survey on Survey Monkey! (This will open a new page!)
  3. Background Information: Daily, those of you who on the front-lines at the 450 food banks in Ontario encounter firsthand the increasing needs and growing reliance on emergency food programs across Ontario.With a 28% increase in food bank use from 2008 – 2010 and rising food prices looming in 2011, three things will happen.
      The number of people on low and fixed income seeking emergency assistance from the food banks will increase yet again.
      Higher food prices will cut into everyone’s incomes and ability to give and consequently, food and cash donations will decrease yet again, and
      Even donations from those who can maintain their donation level will, in effect, be less because the purchasing power of the donations will decrease, yet again.

    We must insist that the Ontario Government resolutely address the hunger crisis in Ontario and assume full responsibility for issues of basic need.

  4. Quotes from the HUNGER COUNT 2010 Report: To quote the OAFB contribution in the HUNGER COUNT 2010 Report:
      We need change. We need our governments to step up and provide effective social programs that allow families and individuals to live with health and dignity. We need politicians to be bold and make well-reasoned decisions for the long-term good of our citizens. We need help, because Ontario’s food banks cannot – and should not – have to shoulder this responsibility forever.

    We are writing to you as a group of concerned citizens, volunteers, individuals marginalized by income, community workers, health professionals and others who are part of the cross-provincial PUT FOOD IN THE BUDGET CAMPAIGN which is active in 30 communities across Ontario.

    We need your support in our ASK of the provincial government to:

      Introduce immediately, a $100 Healthy Food Supplement (HFS) for every adult in Ontario receiving social assistance,
      Set social assistance rates based on the real cost of housing, food and the personal expenses necessary to live a life of health and dignity.

    Fully 45% of food bank visitors in Ontario rely on social assistance as their primary or only source of income. The $100 Healthy Food Supplement would make a very real difference in their lives. It would also help reduce some of the demand on our food banks that are desperately trying to meet the needs of countless others on low or fixed incomes who are not social assistance recipients.

    “Martin Luther King started a famous, rousing speech with “I have a dream”. I too have a dream that one day no child would go to school hungry, no mother would need to worry how she was going to put a meal on the table for her family, no father would have sleepless nights wondering how he was going to keep a roof over his family’s head, that no pensioner would need GIS, that in a county as rich as Canada, nobody would fall below the poverty line.”

    Pauline Apperly,  Coordinator (Volunteer) of Our Home Town Food Bank, in Tottenham, ON

  5. Spread the Word: You can help us spread the word of the Do the Math Challenge by forwarding this email through your networks. Thank you!! Please forward this email among your networks. And follow The Challenge on Posterous and on Twitter.

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