In reaction to Quebec’s economic update, Tasha Lackman says she’s disappointed.
“Food banks Quebec did a calculation that to get us to the end of the year conservatively, we needed $18 million to support food banks, and so $10 million falls short,” she said. “It means people will go hungry.”
Like food banks across the province, the Depot Community Food Centre has been dealing with record-breaking demand and dwindling supply, and its clients are feeling the impact.
“In June, we cut our food basket size by a third, we just cut our food basket size again in November,” said Lackman. “So we are really trying hard to respond the needs of the community without the adequate support of the government.”
A few weeks ago, Food banks of Quebec released its latest report, showing 1 in 10 Quebecers are using food banks to feed themselves or their family — a historic record.
Quebec food banks struggle to meet growing demand
They met with the government and asked for $18 million to get them through until the end of March, but the province has announced it will provide $10 million.
“We were hoping to have no gaps in our supply, however now, we’re quite concerned that we’ll have some gaps in produce before the end of the fiscal year,” said Véronique Beaulieu-Fowler of Food Banks of Quebec.
Food Banks of Quebec say though money is needed to help curb the crisis, food insecurity is a direct result of poverty, and so long-term solutions are needed, like higher welfare and increasing affordable housing.
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Sam Watts, CEO of the Welcome Hall Mission, says the announcement that Quebec will build 500 units to be reserved for people living on the streets is good news, but more needs to be done.
As is the announcement of $126 million, disbursed over five years to fight the rise of homelessness in the province
“An announcement is not a strategy,” said Watts. “The strategy needs to follow, which includes the rollout and the fact that the money needs to go to the right place, at the right time and do the right kinds of things — aiming for clear impact.”
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