More than 2.3 million people across Ontario can’t access nutritious food on a regular basis, including one in every five children. Almost 12 per cent of households in the Diocese of Niagara are worried that there won’t be enough to eat. Churches throughout our diocese have been responding to this growing need through hosting and stocking community fridges, running food banks and community meal programs, cultivating community gardens, and delivering prepared meal boxes to those most in need in our communities. Due to rising grocery costs, the need is greater than ever and it’s more expensive for churches to provide nutritious and healthy food to our neighbours in need.
“Christians have always responded in love and com-passion to the world around us—it’s who we are and how we’re called by God,” says Bishop Susan Bell. “So many of our parishes are responding to the food security concerns within their communities, striving to uphold the dignity of every human being in extraordinary ways by ensuring everyone has access to food, care, and support.”
Year-over-year increases to grocery prices of 10 per cent or more are forcing individuals and families to turn to help for the first time, overwhelming an already stretched social safety net. Those already struggling are being pushed even further into poverty and as food insecurity disproportionally impacts those who are already vulnerable to other risk factors.
More than $18,000 has been raised as part of a special appeal to support food security programming provided by our churches, thanks to a generous donor who matched donations up to $10,000. All funds will go directly to our parishes, missions, and affiliated food security agencies to help meet the overwhelming need for support that is felt across the diocese. Grants, mostly in the range of $1,500 to $2,000 were issued to parishes, missions and affiliated ministries before Christmas to help support their ministries over the winter months. Thank you to all who gave generously!