The Daily Bread Food Bank launched its holiday food drive on Wednesday and is hoping to raise $2.5 million and a million pounds of food.
Part of the reason behind that ambitious goal is to compensate for a slow fall season.
“November was a particularly slow month for donations, and we’re worried about that,” Daily Bread executive director Gail Nyberg said in a statement.
“We send hundreds of thousands of pounds of food out a month to meal programs and food banks across Toronto. We want to make sure that the thousands of families that rely on Daily Bread don’t have to worry about how to feed their children this winter, as well as this holiday season.”
Daily Bread provides food and money to neighbourhood food banks and meal programs in over 170 member agencies.
The holiday drive kicked off on Wednesday morning at the fire station at 260 Adelaide St. W.
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Last year, more than a million people used food banks in the Greater Toronto Area. It was the fifth straight year of similar numbers, according to an annual report by the Daily Bread Food Bank.
“These numbers only show those who actually come to a food bank when they can’t afford food,” Nyberg said in the report.
“It’s been previously shown that for every person who comes there is at least one other very hungry person who cannot afford food who does not come.”
Those using food banks are people transitioning to a new country, an aging demographic contending with a disability or illness and others struggling with the rising cost of basic needs regardless of whether they’re employed or on social assistance.
Food bank clients receive an average monthly income of about $700 and spend nearly three-quarters of it on rent.