People become stuck in difficult financial situations for many reasons. The cost of living is expensive and always increasing, and some can no longer keep up.
This is true of the 7.9 per cent of Niagara residents who are unemployed.1 In addition, 49,020 individuals or 11.3 per cent of Niagara's total population turned to Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Employment Insurance programs in 2012.2
Even people who are working may not have enough money for healthy food. In Canada, 62 per cent of people who were worried about the amount, type, variety and quality of food in their household were working for wages or salaries.3 These individuals may also have compromised the quality and/or amount of food or may have missed meals.3
In 2013, a total of 10,100 individuals were served at Niagara food banks. This amount has grown by 15 per cent since 2008. A total of 34 per cent of these individuals were children.4
The majority of individuals who accessed food banks in Niagara were on social assistance or ODSP. A total of 73 per cent of individuals served at Niagara food banks were renting their home.4
Here's a look at hunger in Niagara and how you can help.
Download Hunger in Niagara infographic.
Food insecurity equals not being able to access healthy foods.
9.9 per cent of Niagara households are food insecure. Food insecurity and income are closed linked. 25 per cent of these households have no place to go for food.
The following is what it costs to feed a family of four per month in Niagara.
$2,152 is the monthly income of a family of four on Ontario Works in 2014.
$1,031 is market rent for a three bedroom apartment in Niagara.
$849 is the monthly cost of healthy food for a family of four.
$272 is the amount left over for:
What you can do:
Foodbank items that are needed include: