As the province announces millions in funding in an effort to eliminate poverty, a Hamilton anti-poverty group says there is still work to be done and hungry mouths to be fed.
“We know that families that are food insecure have had to make tough choices, in many cases having to pay other bills instead of having enough food on the table.” Peter Milczyn, Ontario housing minister.
In an effort to change that the province announced $16 million in funding for community projects that support the elimination of poverty, including programs related to homelessness, employment, and food security.
Food4kids Hamilton Halton Niagara is one of the 48 community projects across the province set to receive funding from the Ontario government. Over 2 years the organization will receive over $250 000. Food4kids provides a weekend supply of healthy foods for children living in poverty.
But not everyone is feeling the wealth.
“One group that is getting left behind is the single people on Ontario Works.” Deirdre Pike, Social Planning & Research council of Hamilton.
Receiving $721 a month, which is just under $8 000 a year in government assistance is what inspired a Hamilton anti-poverty group to begin a campaign called “Empty Fridges, Empty Promises” . Prompting those enrolled in Ontario Works to share photos of the contents of their fridge online.
Deirdre who helped launch the campaign says it’s a visual reminder of the tough reality for many. She would like to see a single person on Ontario Works receive the same amount as those in Ontario’s basic income pilot, which is nearly $17 000 a year.