Raymond is a 61 year old, former construction worker. Almost 25 years ago, he was involved in a workplace accident where he fell and overstretched his spine. He hasn’t been able to work since. But he didn’t start coming to the food bank right away. In order to cut down on expenses, he shared an apartment with a housemate. At first, he and his housemate would pool their resources to cover groceries and other expenses. But then she lost her job and was put on pension. Their income went down significantly, and so the food bank was their last option.

“…he can’t eat many of the cheaper, heavily processed foods available in grocery stores. That’s where the food bank has made a huge difference.”

Since rent takes up a good portion of their income, coming to the food bank helps to stretch their food budget for the month. Raymond has a number of food allergies, so he can’t eat many of the cheaper, heavily-processed foods available in grocery stores. That’s where the food bank has made a huge difference.

“For me especially, receiving milk and fresh vegetables allows me to buy more fresh vegetables. That’s the biggest food money consumer for me. Because some of them are expensive but they make such a difference in what you’re cooking, so they’re worthwhile to me to buy them. That way I can afford to, I’m not going without.”

On the difference food banking has made: “The main thing this place does is take away a lot of the stress in day-to-day living. It really helps to make sure that people aren’t as stressed out. I’ve seen people come in who were almost in tears, and they walk out, smiling, thankful with bags full of food. It really makes a difference to everybody’s life. Especially the families. Or some of the refugees that come in, they’re just awestruck and they leave saying ‘Thank you.’”

Submitted by The Mississauga Food Bank Link opens a new windowas a part of the 25 Years of Changing Lives Gallery.

Thank you to Hunger Action Month sponsor Cargill Canada!