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Please note: The New Toronto Street Food Bank is by appointment only, except for Thursday drop-in, pre-packed hampers. To book an appointment or register online please click here. When you register as a new client of the Daily Bread Food Bank network, you will be able to access any food bank supported by Daily Bread using your Client ID. If you are experiencing issues registering online, please call 416.203.0050 x1.
Daily Bread | COVID19 Announcements

Paid Sick Days Are Essential to Protecting Workers

April 22, 2021

“The bulk of cases now that seem to be driving this pandemic are happening in workplaces where essential workers are unable to fully physically distance from one another,” according to Dr. Camille Lemieux, medical lead for the University Health Network’s COVID-19 assessment centre.

This is one of several reasons why it is critical that the province reconsider its position on paid sick days.   Paid sick days are a key contributor to getting Ontario healthy again.

Take the fact that over 70% of low-wage workers in Canada do not have paid sick days. When feeling unwell, these workers are faced with the impossible decision of going into work and risk exposing others to COVID-19, or losing their wages and not being able to afford their basic necessities, like food.

Daily Bread’s Hunger Lives Here report found that food bank clients are at greater risk for exposure to COVID-19. Close to 60% of employed food bank clients were in occupations facing the highest COVID-19 cases, including sales, trades and transport, manufacturing and utilities to name a few.

COVID-19 cases have been concentrated in areas where individuals face systemic social and economic disadvantages. Overcrowded housing, higher use of public transit, and a greater need to travel outside one’s own home to work, or access food have all contributed to higher COVD-19 cases in these areas. Workers who are Black, Indigenous, and people of colour have been hardest hit by COVID-19 within Toronto and these communities continue to disproportionately experience lower-incomes and reduced job security

While the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit provides up to 10 days of income support for people who have COVID-19 or are required to self-isolate, this benefit does not fully meet the need of low-wage workers. For example, the benefit is only available if the worker misses at least 50% of their work week and has earned at last $5,000 in the prior year. Workers must apply for the benefit and there is a time delay to receiving the payment, leaving many in financially precarious positions. And finally, the $500 per week benefit is less than what a minimum wage worker in Ontario would earn working a regular 40 hour work week.

Paid sick days on the other hand are timely, responsive, and ensure no income disruption for workers so they can stay home when feeling unwell to protect those around them.

Providing paid sick days is critical, now more than ever, to address the immediate challenges of so many in our community who are forced to make the choice of a keeping food on the table, or going to work while feeling sick.  The lack of paid sick days exacerbates the inequities that marginalized communities face during the pandemic.

During this crucial window of time, we are hopeful that the Government of Ontario will do the right, safe and healthy thing – and legislate paid sick days.

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Past Announcements

Ontario Releases COVID-19 Action Plan

March 26, 2020

Ontario’s government recently released a $17 billion action plan to bolster the health care system… Read More

How Ontario can Support Low-Income Households During and After COVID-19

March 26, 2020

Food banks across Canada are preparing for a surge in need as the economy slows… Read More

What's considered essential? The services and workplaces that can stay open

March 24, 2020

The closure of non-essential businesses in Ontario… Read More

New Protections for the Working Poor During COVID-19

March 24, 2020

Crises inevitably reveal cracks in our public supports. Food bank clients cannot meet the most… Read More

COVID-19 Match: Double your Impact

March 23, 2020

UPDATE: Match is now closed. Thank you to everyone who donated! ——– To support Daily… Read More

COVID-19 CEO Update: Navigating a New Reality

March 20, 2020

Dear friend, Like you, we at Daily Bread Food Bank are navigating a new reality. Read More

Newstalk 1010: COVID-19 - What's happening at the food banks? How can we help?

March 19, 2020

“This is an opportunity to step up and demonstrate leadership and the values of our… Read More

'This is an absolutely critical time': Food bank puts up tent to ensure food donations amid COVID-19

March 16, 2020

“This is an absolutely critical time. Each week, over 15,000 individuals rely on food banks… Read More

Local businesses helping feed those in need during pandemic

March 16, 2020

Local businesses are stepping up to help feed vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

'We have 17 days' worth of food': COVID-19 affecting Toronto's most vulnerable

March 14, 2020

“There is a heightened sense of anxiety among those who are already vulnerable, are already… Read More