COVID-19: Food Bank Requests to the Ontario Government

March 18, 2020

In 2019, Ontario’s provincial food bank network was accessed by over 520,000 people who visited our services more than 3.2 million times.

Even under normal circumstances, these individuals and families do not have access to sufficient income for their basic necessities, like food, personal care items, or medication on an ongoing basis. This makes purchasing extra supplies or stockpiling food impossible.

With the emergence of COVID-19, Ontario’s food banks are facing a surge in demand, as people living in poverty try to access the resources needed to self-isolate, practice social distancing, or follow the directions of public health.

As a result, food bank resources are being depleted far faster than they are being replenished. Further, there is growing concern that the labour and volunteer resources needed to sustain our operations are becoming increasingly less available.

To ensure vulnerable Ontarians have the support they need, and to relieve the demand currently being placed on food banks and social service providers, Feed Ontario is requesting that the Government of Ontario:

  • Provide immediate financial aid to social assistance recipients so that they may purchase the food and products that they need during this unprecedented time
  • Create a stabilization fund to provide financial support to non-profits, like food banks, that are providing frontline support during this unexpected pandemic
  • Provide assistance to support rental tenants who have challenges making rent payments as a result of COVID-19, in addition to the temporary freeze on evictions

Ontario’s food banks are working tirelessly to support their communities during this State of Emergency, but cannot do it alone.

We need the support of the provincial government to ease the demand on our food banks and ensure that Ontario’s most vulnerable have ongoing and sufficient access to food and supplies, so that they too may remain as healthy as possible.