Community Food Centres Canada launches fund to help communities
March 24, 2020, Toronto, Ont. – Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) has launched a $3-million Good Food Access Fund to provide emergency relief during this time of national crisis to children, single parents, Indigenous people, seniors, and those on disability supports.
The Fund will ensure that the 183 Good Food Organizations and 13 Community Food Centres working on the frontlines in 175 communities across Canada can quickly purchase food and supplies for those who need it most.
Before COVID-19 hit, 4.4 million Canadians faced food insecurity, inadequate or irregular access to food due to financial constraints.
“Food insecurity was already an urgent problem before the virus,” said Nick Saul, CEO of CFCC. “One in eight Canadians struggled to put food on the table, so imagine how many more will be struggling now. Regardless of our individual circumstances, many of us will be fearing scarcity at a time like this. But in a time of national crisis, it is in our nature as Canadians to do what we can for our most vulnerable neighbours. While we are working with the government on an appropriate response, my ask to corporate Canada and all Canadians is to please act and act fast.”
Precarious employment and the closure of many businesses means that the number of Canadians who will require emergency food aid will increase exponentially over the coming weeks.
“Bringing people together in shared spaces over good food is at the heart of our work. We all look forward to the time when Canadians will again gather with friends and neighbours to share a meal,” said Saul. “The economic measures announced by the government will be helpful. We will be working alongside others to help ensure that this response is effective and equitable. What Canada needs now is to make sure that no one is falling between the cracks by working with the frontline agencies that are equipped to get food out the door immediately to those who are being hit the hardest by the current crisis.”
CFCC completed a research survey in summer 2019 with 561 Community Food Centre and Good Food Organization participants to dig deeper into the impacts of food insecurity. The results are sobering:
- 81 per cent said food insecurity had a negative impact on their physical health;
- 79 per cent said it had a negative impact on their mental health;
- 64 per cent said it affected their relationships with loved ones;
- 59 per cent said it had a negative impact on their children;
- 58 per cent said it isolated them socially;
- 57 per cent said it was a barrier to finding and maintaining employment;
- 53 per cent said it impeded their ability to find meaning and purpose in life;
- 46 per cent said it impeded their ability to express and share their culture.
CFCC works with 183 organizations through conferences, trainings, grants and other resources in a total of 175 communities across Canada.