Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Rent or Food?

Posted by auroracitizen on October 7, 2010

Just in time for a municipal election, we wanted to share with all Aurora Citizen readers a special campaign that’s taking place this week.

Rent or food? It’s a choice many must make when their social assistance cheques don’t stretch far enough to feed themselves and their families.

For the week of Oct. 4, community leaders are taking part in the Do The Math Challenge. They will experience first hand what it is like to live on $585 a month — which is what the region’s less fortunate get from the province as part of their social benefit program.

Debora Kelly, York Region Media Group’s editor-in-chief, is participating and readers can follow her journey in her column at www.YorkRegion.com or on Twitter (@dlkyorkeditor).

By writing about their experiences, community leaders hope to raise awareness of the very real issue of hunger in York Region. This challenge, organized by the Poverty Action for Change Coalition, is part of a larger campaign pushing the province to provide a $100 healthy food supplement for all adults on welfare.

This is something to consider as we sit down with friends and family this weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving. Let’s remember to be grateful for what we have and give some consideration to those less fortunate.

Thank you and have a great day!

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11 Responses to “Rent or Food?”

  1. Richard Johnson said

    I’m on the record on this issue. I think that it is shameful that a community as blessed as ours sees fit to spend millions of dollars on recreation, trails, trees and legal fees and yet not one thin dime is spent to support the food bank.

    It appears that many people seem to feel that it is not the town’s responsibility to contribute financially to social services such as the food bank. I disagree.

    If we can spend $30,000 to $50,000 on any given consultant’s report only to ignore it, or spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an integrity commissioner who’s sole purpose is to shame elected officials into saying they are sorry while our mayor turns a blind eye to her own actions and those of her supporters, and when we have money to support a jazz festival and parades and a cultural, we sure the heck should be able to find at least some money to feed those people most in need assistance in our community.

    I honestly thought that giving to the food bank would be a “no brainer”, but I was clearly wrong.

    I’m talking about contributing a small fraction of what Council seems to see fit to squander money on any number of “good” causes that have nothing to do with helping those in need.

    I realise that the town dropped the “character community” motto recently but I personally still think that we still need to revisit our priorities.

    • Anonymous said

      I think support for the foodbank goes hand in hand with supporting affordable housing. I read on Wendy Gaertner’s website that she pats herself on the back for her solution to affordable housing: legalizing basement apartments. I wonder how she would like to live in a basement all the time. My son did for awhile when at university and, believe me it had negative impacts on his mental health from things such as light deprivation, cold, dampness etc. etc.
      I see Darryl Moore considers the Wells Street school as a high priority if he is elected. His idea is to turn it into some kind of educational forum. Once again, an opportunity to do something for less fortunate people in this town is swept aside. I guess the NIMBY principle raises its head once again.

    • For You Shall Know Them by their Fruit... said

      I thought so too in an reply to Ms Buck’s post ” A Call for Help” regarding the Era’s article “Programming responds to community’s desires” in reference to the Aurora Cultural Centre. Anonymous gave me the lowdown on one being a town owned facility and the other (Food Pantry) was not.I already knew that!… I was told I was “talking apples and oranges here”. I was questioning the community’s NEEDS, rather than desires. Mr.or Ms. “Apples and Oranges” then asked that we not confuse the Food Pantry with Town of Aurora Facilities. On October 25th, there will be NO confusion whatsoever!

    • Anonymous said

      Just to be clear Buck was calling out to people for donations to the Food Bank in her blog.

    • Carmen Miranda said

      “On October 25th, there will be NO confusion whatsoever!”

      On that date, and any subsequent one, the Food Pantry will not be a responsibility of the Corporation of the Town of Aurora. It would seem that any confusion that lingers will be your own.

      Meanwhile, support the Food Pantry with your donations of foodstuffs and time, and encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same.

    • Anonymous said

      Let us not forget about the Councilor who did not know where The Food Pantry was.

      Not the new location mind you;the old one on Yonge st.

      This lack of outreach info was none other than ………………

      Evilina.

  2. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    Seniors, teenagers, adult men and women, and parents all visit the food bank.

    My 10 years with the York Region Food Network taught me a few things:
    1. All those folks who rely on the food bank look like my family without grocery bags.
    2. The Town of Aurora has done nothing in the past for its food bank.
    3. Let me repeat it. Nothing.

    So, as a citizen, how do you feel about that?

    • David Heard said

      Last year I completed something similar by eating only items such as what is provided at the Food banks.

      I ate canned for 8 weeks and gained almost 20 pounds and when I went back to healthy food I became very sick.

      It was bizarre how my body was reacting and most of all,my thirst on canned food went through the roof.

      This was when we really ramped up the produce from the Farmers Market,to the Food Pantry every Saturday.

      We even carried it on through last winter with help from Calderones on Industrial Parkway.

      Almost 4000 pounds was delivered to the pantry from May 2009 to feb 2010.

      We ran out of money so we could not make it to the start of this years Market.

      With great support from Vendors,The Aurora Optimists,and the citizens;almost 1900 pounds has been delivered this year.

      This Saturday we hope you will help us deliver healthy to those who could use our caring.

      Aurora thank you from the bottom of my heart.

      You Rock………………………

    • For You Shall Know Them by their Fruit... said

      Angry,frustrated and finally,ashamed.

  3. Something Fishy in Aurora..... said

    Thanks for posting this, I made a comment about this on Councilor Bucks blog this morning in the “call for help” entry but it has not been approved yet.

    Hopefully this brings to light how important social assistance is and how it needs to be improved. You just never know if you may need it too some day.

    http://putfoodinthebudget.ca/

    • evelyn.buck said

      I recently had a conversation with a supervisor at York Regions Social Services.

      I asked if the current government had restored social assistance payments to where they were before the Harris government slashed them by 22% in the mid 90’s

      They have not. Other child tax benefits have been introduced but adult allowances are still grossly inadequate,

      The withdrawal of both senior levels of government from the responsibility for providing affordable housing and the disproportionate cost of shelter for working families is the crux of the problem

      The deprivation of a food bank diet is bad enough. It surely cannot compare with the utter degradation of having to visit a food bank to keep body and soul together even while fully employed.

      I understand even seniors are visiting the food bank.

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