Christmas is gone and so are the turkey drives. During our coldest months, families and seniors still need to be supported by food banks. Over 30,000 people in this province don’t get enough to eat. They live in communities throughout our “have” province where we are told that we have a hot economy. Unfortunately, the benefits of a hot economy do not find their way down to those in our society who need them most.
Now that the provincial government is moving into its cut-and-slash strategy to meet budget demands, more and more people will find themselves having to go to their local food bank for support. Let’s remind ourselves of a few things about Newfoundland and Labrador. Newfoundland and Labrador is still a province where we do “have” thousands of people who work for low wages; where we do “have” inadequate pensions for seniors and those retired from public service; where we do “have” the second highest unemployment rate in Atlantic Canada at 13.7 per cent (January 2013); where we do “have” many working families who cannot afford to buy fruit/vegetables due to the high cost of living in this province; where we do “have” escalating prices for housing, rent, gas, electricity, oil and food.
The bottom line is that we do “have” thousands in our province who need to be supported by food banks and many other local charities. Add to that the possible thousands who may/will find themselves out on strike in the coming months. They, too, will need the help of their local food banks.
Here’s something positive we can all do to support local food banks. Next time you’re out at your local supermarket, select a few extra non-perishable items and drop them off at your nearest food bank or make a financial donation. They will appreciate it at this time of year and so will the thousands of Newfoundland and Labrador recipients.
Government has recently put a temporary freeze on hiring as one way to meet current budget demands. Maybe government can do something more beneficial and put a freeze on the price of basic foods like milk, bread, eggs, fruits and vegetables. Isn’t hunger transparent enough?