Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 by Mike Balkwill – Put Food in the Budget
Dear Mr. McGuinty and Mr Duncan,
I am the Chair of the Weston Food Bank (W.A.E.S.) located at Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue in Toronto. I have been involved with the Weston community for over 20 years. In 2009 WAES saw a 26% increase in need – serving over 12, 500 people.
You must be aware that nobody could possibly live on social assistance or disability benefits in this city.
The people that come to WAES for support come from all walks of life, some with mental health or addiction issues, but most with just a need to feed themselves and their families. All of those that need support are my neighbours, and they want to live a decent life, be able to put food on their table, have clean clothes to wear and a decent place to live. These are not outrageous aspirations. And yet in Toronto, where so many live so lavishly, there is a growing group of people that are being left behind.
At the April 13th Do the Math event at the Christy Barns, one 11 year old girl said “I can’t believe how hard it would be to not see a light at the end of the tunnel”. She was talking about poverty and living on what a person gets from a food bank. It brought tears to my eyes.