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Feed Ontario illustrates reality of Hunger Report with interactive website

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Feed Ontario is using an interactive website to illustrate the harsh reality facing those who are struggling to put food on the table.

Kallie Fanson, constituency assistant to Windsor-West MPP Lisa Gretzky went through one of four scenarios offered.

“That was extremely difficult,” Fanson said.

Called ‘Fork in the Road,’ one scenario asks participants to navigate a month of expenses for a single father of one working two part-time jobs.

Lakeshore Coun. Kelsey Santarossa reflected on the decision someone would have to make on an income under $3,000 per month.

“Going through this in one month and recognizing the decisions keep coming week after week,” she said. “You're really not getting a chance to get your head above water, get your feet back underneath you.”

Fanson hears similar calls at the office.

Feed Ontario is using an interactive website to illustrate the harsh realities many people face. Screen shot of Feed Ontario's Fork in the Road page. (Source: Feed Ontario)

“Unfortunately not uncommon for us to hear at the MPP's office,” Fanson said. “I'm getting calls daily with people in similar situations that we're trying to figure out and try to make those policy changes for them.”

According to Feed Ontario's recent Hunger Report 800,000 accessed emergency food support last year.

“What's really concerning, even more concerning is that is double the increase that we saw following the 2008 recession,” said Andrea Waters, communications manager.

In addition to the increase in service, Waters says there has been a big decline in people's ability to give to local food banks.

“Food banks are kind of at the tipping point where they're looking at how are they going to sustain service into the future?” Waters said.

In 2022, 19.8 per cent of the Windsor-Essex County community was dealing with some sort of food insecurity according to the Canadian Income Survey. It’s a number that was reflected in the Windsor Essex County Health Unit’s recent Cost Of Living Report.

Karen Bellemore, a public health nutritionist, says people are not left much after rent and food are accounted for.

“There is under a thousand dollars left for every other expense that an individual would have to use in order to navigate life every month,” Bellemore said.

The health unit sends the report to all local municipalities and uses it to advocate at the provincial and federal level.  

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