In tough times those with the least hurt most
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/03/2022 (426 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Recent months have been difficult for too many families in Manitoba. For low-wage earners, seniors on a fixed income, those facing disability and other health challenges, there have been many reasons why this winter has been especially difficult. We started 2022 with another wave of COVID-19, the Omicron variant, that once again closed many businesses and filled our hospitals to capacity. These challenges created hardship for many in the midst of an already hard and cold winter.
In recent months, we have also begun to see another challenge building for many people – rising prices. This past month, inflation rates increased to 5.7 per cent in Canada, levels not seen for 30 years. For certain basics, such as fuel and food, the rate of inflation has been even higher. High prices for the basics means that a growing number of Manitobans simply cannot make ends meet. The budget for groceries simply does not stretch as far as it did a year ago, and rising prices for other goods creates even more financial stress for households.
At Harvest Manitoba, that hardship means even more Manitobans need help putting basic food on the table. This past February, Harvest passed a grim milestone – the first time in our history that we provided food hampers to over 12,000 households in a single month. That represented nearly 35,000 people, over 40 per cnet of them children. The need is not only in Winnipeg but in communities throughout the province. Some of the largest increases in the need for food are in communities Harvest serves outside the city, where fewer transportation options make record-high gas prices an even greater burden.
These record high prices are driving ever higher demand for food aid in our province, but these same high prices are also making it more costly for Harvest Manitoba to operate. In order to do our work supporting Manitoba families, we run a fleet of commercial vehicles and high fuel costs make that work more expensive. Harvest also purchases food throughout the year to supplement the generous donations that come from our grocery partners, food producers and the public. Higher food prices mean our budget to purchase food is also stretched. As we face record-high demand for food hampers, this increases the costs of everything we do.
We are so thankful to the thousands of Manitobans, who are able, who support the work of Harvest. Thank you to the volunteers to give their time in our warehouse to help us sort food, pack hampers, drive trucks, answer phones and do all the other jobs that make our work possible. Thank you also to the many hundreds of Manitobans in communities large and small who volunteer in their local food banks. Harvest relies on a network of over 300 agency partners to get our food to those in need and we appreciate all these dedicated volunteers as well.
It takes a community to feed a community. Whether you are able to donate your time, donate funds, or put a tin in the bin, thank you for being a part of our crew at Harvest Manitoba.
For more information on Harvest Manitoba and its programs, visit www.harvestmanitoba.ca, email email@example.com or call 204-982-3663.
Harvest Manitoba is a not-for-profit, community based organization. Our goals are to collect and share surplus food with people who are hungry and to offer training opportunities to help people step up and out of poverty. Our ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for food banks in our community. Find out more at www.harvestmanitoba.ca