The Minister of Community and Social Services, Helena Jaczek, announced today that the Ontario government will no longer claw back child support payments. Currently, a parent on social assistance and receiving child support payments has their social assistance reduced by the amount they receive in child support.
Reducing the clawback of child support payments from social assistance is something that Daily Bread has advocated strongly for. In Daily Bread’s 2015 and 2016 Ontario budget submissions, we asked for a withdrawal rate as a strong first step in the right direction. The complete elimination of the clawback of child support payments is excellent news. We are hopeful it will go a long way to reducing the number of children and youth in poverty and in need of food programs in Ontario. Currently, over a third of people coming to food banks in Toronto are children.
The Minister has also announced an Income Security Working Group, tasked with coming up with a concrete plan to improve the lives of people on low incomes in Ontario. Daily Bread’s board member, John Stapleton, is a member of this group. This group will be working in conjunction with a Basic Income pilot project that is scheduled to roll out in 2017.
On Wednesday June 8, 2016 former Toronto Argonauts football player and coach, Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons visited Daily Bread Food Bank. Michael, and his team from the Michael Pinball Clemons Foundation, joined volunteers from Purolator and Toronto Police Services to participate in its annual ‘Just Give’ campaign to help spread acts of kindness throughout Toronto.
And there are many ways for everyone to give. This year, Just Give had not one, but two food drive challenges to raise donations for local food banks, including Daily Bread. The Cram-A-Curbsider food drive invited local businesses and corporations to band employees together to fight hunger.
And Cram-A-Cruiser had hundreds of students collect food donations and ‘cram’ it into police cars.
Toronto police officer arrives at Daily Bread Food Bank with his cruiser crammed with food
Whether it was holding doors open, giving high-fives at Union station, or heading down to City Hall to give Pinball Clemons a hug, there were many activities celebrating kindness during Just Give.
But obviously the one closest to Daily Bread’s heart is the Just Give food drive, which will help families struggling with hunger have access to nutritious food throughout the year. “During the summer months, people aren’t thinking about hunger, they aren’t thinking about donating food,” says Michael, Co-Founder of Michael Pinball Clemons Foundation. “But people still need to eat.” The decline in summer food donations is one of the reasons why the food drive is such a focal point of the Just Give campaign.
Daily Bread Food Bank’s Gail Nyberg with Michael and his team after a long, successful day.
“One in three Canadians access the food bank at some point in their life – that’s a lot of us. In a country that is as rich as this…everybody should be able to eat,” says Michael. “It’s an immediate impact. You give food today and someone eats it tomorrow. Most people need help for a short time, and then spend majority of their lives helping others.”
When you give, you can help make a difference in someone else’s life. Thank you to everyone who gave to help make Just Give a success!
Today, the Executive Committee at City Council will meet to discuss the Budget Committee’s recommendation that a 2.6 per cent cut to all budgets be implemented for this year’s budget, in order to balance it. In response, Daily Bread Food Bank sent the following letter to Mayor Tory and the Executive Committee expressing our concerns about a blanket cut to services.
Monday, June 27, 2016
Dear Mayor Tory and Executive Committee:
Tomorrow, you will have the opportunity to discuss how to make ends meet based on the budget committee’s call for a 2.6 per cent spending cut. This is the sixth consecutive year in which there will be budget reductions in a city which has unacceptable levels of poverty and hunger. Instead of making cuts that will negatively affect Toronto’s most vulnerable, we ask that you protect residents from further cuts to city services and infrastructure.
Daily Bread Food Bank is a non-profit organization that provides food and support to almost 200 food programs and 136 member agencies across Toronto. We ensure that those on low incomes who are struggling with hunger have access to nutritious food through food banks, homeless shelters, community food centres as well as meal programs. We also recognize that hunger is a symptom of poverty and to have any impact on reducing hunger, first we need to reduce poverty.
There is a widening gap between the have and have nots in this City. While Toronto has a red hot real estate market and a very competitive business environment, Toronto also has the highest levels of working poor and child poverty in Canada. And hunger is on the rise. Daily Bread’s latest Who’s Hungry report shows that there were nearly 900,000 visits to Toronto food banks last year, with a 45 per cent increase in visits to food banks in the inner suburbs since 2008. People are stretched to their limits due to high rental costs, and are skipping meals to afford TIC fare in order to get to jobs or doctors’ appointments. Member agencies are bursting at the seams in the former inner suburbs (e.g. Etobicoke and Scarborough), while food programs in the city core have disappeared or are at risk of disappearing due to gentrification, redevelopment and the accompanying increases in rent.
City budgets that see increases to user fees and transit costs well above the rate of inflation, while keeping property taxes below the rate of inflation, only reinforce this widening gap between the rich and the poor.
We ask that you do not balance a budget on the backs of the most vulnerable in Toronto.
Senior Manager, Research
Daily Bread Food Bank
T: 416-203-0050 ext. 288
Daily Bread Food Bank announces this year’s ‘Best in Class’ Donor of the Year Awards
Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Dominion Farms Produce are being recognized as leaders in the fight against hunger for their support of Daily Bread Food Bank.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch Staff Volunteers
“Each year, hundreds of companies provide support to Daily Bread through donations of food, funds and their time,” said Gail Nyberg, Executive Director. “Dominion Farms Produce and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have been exceptional partners in the fight against hunger and it is through this kind of committed support that we are able to provide nutritious food for 90,000 people struggling with hunger each year.”
Daily Bread’s Best in Class Awards recognize the top corporate and community partners for their efforts in the fight against hunger. These awards recognize the leading roles organizations take in the community when it comes to donating, volunteering and raising awareness to help end hunger in our communities. The corporate sector accounts for more than one-quarter of Daily Bread’s financial donations, in addition to millions of pounds of donated food.
Corporate Donor of the Year: Bank of America Merrill Lynch
From left to right: Gail Nyberg (Executive Director, Daily Bread), Gaylen Duncan (Country Operating Officer – Canada), Mimi D.Theodorou (VP, Business Operational Services-Canada)
Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) has been supporting Daily Bread since 1998. What helps make BofAML unique is not just their commitment to Daily Bread’s work through their generous grants – but also their commitment to bringing in dedicated volunteers every year on American Thanksgiving! This tradition has become one of Daily Bread’s favourite times of the year, as we know we can always count on their help and always look forward to the high-level of energy and enthusiasm they consistently bring. Daily Bread is very grateful for their interest in our mission, their time, passion and generous support over the past 17 years.
“Bank of America Merrill Lynch is honoured to be recognized by the Daily Bread Food Bank for our support of the community, and we believe it is a testament to our wider longstanding commitment to Canada,” said Gaylen Duncan, Country Operating Officer (Canada), Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Since our inception in this country in 1947, we’ve worked relentlessly to serve the unique needs and challenges of the marketplace with our unique set of expertise and global capabilities. In that spirit, we’re proud to partner with Daily Bread to deliver valuable services and resources to alleviate hunger and poverty in an important community in which we operate.”
Food Industry Donor of the Year: Dominion Farms Produce
From left to right: Gail Nyberg (Executive Director, Daily Bread), Tom Tomizza (General Manager and Sales, Dominion Farms Produce), Pam Bastedo (Manager, Corporate Partnerships, Daily Bread)
Supporting Daily Bread Food Bank since 2007, Dominion Farms Produce understand the importance of providing nutritious food. Each week Daily Bread is able to depend on them through their regular donations of healthy and fresh produce. To date, they have donated over 1.5 million pounds worth of food! We are excited to announce, Dominion Farm Produce for winning the 2015 Food Industry Donor Award.
“We at Dominion Farms are extremely honoured and humbled to have been chosen Food Industry Donor of the Year,” said Tony Tomizza, General Manager. “For almost ten years, we have been blessed to be able to donate fresh, locally grown carrots and onions weekly. Dominion Farms will continue to support the wonderful folks at the food bank who work so hard to help 90,000 hungry every year.”
Since 1999, Canstruction Toronto has been uniting the local design community in a unique fundraiser that gives back to people struggling with hunger: a canned sculptures competition.
These ‘Canstructures’ are feats of creativity and ingenuity, and a panel of judges award teams in categories such as ‘Best Use of Labels’ and ‘Best Meal’, which looks not only at the design, but also what kind of food is being used to make it.
22 Canstructures and 63,000 pounds of food
This year’s Canstruction raised over 63,000 pounds of food for Daily Bread Food Bank.
“We’re thrilled to receive such high-quality donations of some of our most-needed food items. It is especially important at a time when we’re seeing sudden increases in client visits this spring, combined with lower donations, said Richard Matern, Daily Bread’s senior manager of research.
“Twenty-two structures were built, but we are down to twenty-one and in mourning for a structure that didn’t make it,” announced Canstruction co-chair Helen Kabriel, at Tuesday’s awards ceremony. “But the food survived, and that’s the most important part.”
Visit TD Centre this week
Rebanks Pepper Littlewoods Architect Inc – Strike Out Hunger
Until Friday, you can head down to the TD Centre and see the Canstructures for free. On Saturday, the constructions will be deconstructed, and all the tuna, peanut butter and canned fruits and vegetables that make up a smiling Buddha, emoji, tea cup and a robot will be distributed through the hundreds of food programs across Toronto that Daily Bread supports.
Vote for the People’s Choice Award!
There is also one more award Canstruction Toronto needs to give out, and they need your help to award it. From now until June 2, go to https://www.facebook.com/canstructionTO vote by ‘liking’ your favourite Canstructure picture on Facebook through the Canstruction Toronto page.
Quadrangle – Winner of Best Meal
Best Meal Winner, up close!
Entuitive with PCL Constructors and Parkin Architects – Winner of Best Use of Labels
GM BluePlan Engineering Limited – Winner of Juror’s Favourite
Want to work for an innovative organization that is making a difference every day? Daily Bread Food Bank is looking for a creative individual to fill the role of Communications Assistant. This is an 8-week position through the Canada Summer Job Program, starting Monday, June 6.
This summer, gain valuable experience writing and publishing stories for digital and print, as well as putting your interviewing skills to work! In addition to being an excellent writer, we are looking from someone who is a team player that can work independently in a fast-moving environment. This position is ideal for students enrolled in programs related to communications, public relations, fundraising, marketing or social work.
To apply for this position you must meet the Canada Summer Job Programs eligibility requirements, which include being between 15 and 30 years of age and a full-time student this past year who intends to return to school on a full-time basis next year.
The 2016 Canstruction Toronto event is gearing up! This is a competition held in Toronto and cities around the world where, each year, teams of designers, architects and engineers donate their time to build sculptures made entirely out of cans of foods. Last year’s Canstruction raised over 70,000 pounds of food. The canned food sculptures will be displayed in downtown Toronto from May 17 to 21 before being taken down and donated to Daily Bread Food Bank.
This is no April Fool’s joke….today is the last day of Daily Bread’s Spring Drive!
As of March 31, $150,000 and 93,000 pounds have been raised and the goals are $225,000 and 150,000 pounds of food.
Donations to the Spring Drive will help ensure that Daily Bread can continue to deliver nutritious food out to almost 200 food programs across Toronto. Help fight hunger in Toronto and make a gift to the Spring Drive online by clicking here:http://bit.ly/DBSpring.
Non-perishable food donations can be dropped off at any local fire hall. Most needed food items include canned fruits and vegetables, pasta, canned or dried beans/lentils as well as canned fish or meat and rice.