Jul 25, 2023

Spotlight: Gordon’s Story

What would you do if you had to choose between food and medication?

This is an impossible choice that tens of thousands of our neighbours struggling with food insecurity must make each day.

This past June, there were 260,500 client visits to Daily Bread member food banks. That’s a 52% increase compared to the same period last year, and a 285% increase when we go back to pre-COVID days. The growth is astounding.

Inflation and the dramatic rising costs of living have impacted many in our city. But for some, like 63-year old Gordon, things have been devastating.

Gordon and his wife are seniors living on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). For years, he has lived with a disability that has made it almost impossible for him to find and keep a job. Making ends meet has been difficult with their limited income, and they have often found themselves going hungry several times per week. “Every day I wish that I could provide for our family, but I can’t, and the money we get from ODSP is not enough to get by without support,” he shared.

Currently in Ontario, the maximum ODSP rate for a single individual, like Gordon, is $1,308 per month, and $733 for those on Ontario Works (OW). This is well below Toronto’s official poverty line of $2,060 per month. People relying on social assistance are living in deep poverty.

Visiting his local food bank has been a lifeline for Gordon. He is now able to access a variety of staples like rice, grains, bread, as well as healthy proteins, and fresh fruits and vegetables, to help fill in some of the gaps.

“Thanks to the food bank, I don’t need to worry about going hungry or having to choose between food and medications. My wife and I have a much happier life,” he says.

At Daily Bread, we are committed to meeting the emergency food needs of our community today, but at the same time, we will always advocate for long-term change to end poverty. We need the appropriate social safety nets in place to ensure everyone can realize their right to food.

Thank you for the role you play in ensuring that our neighbours facing hunger have a place to turn to when they need it most. Whether you donate, volunteer or advocate, every action matters.

If you’d like to make a financial contribution to help families like Gordon’s, click here to donate today.

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