A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM IZZY WAXMAN, MAZON'S DIRECTOR:
In this time of medical crisis, MAZON Canada's network of food aid programs across the country are facing terrifying futures. I'd like to answer some questions that might be on your mind concerning Canada's food aid system and MAZON Canada's support in this crisis.
HOW IS CANADA'S FOOD AID SYSTEM AFFECTED?
Here are just a few ways COVID-19 and the surrounding panic affect Canada's food support system:
As businesses close, working class people who live paycheck to paycheck turn to food banks for help.
Homeless community members go hungry and without rest as shelters shut down, right when they need safe and sanitary places to stay more than ever.
Children dependant on free breakfasts and lunches go hungry during school closures.
Demand is spiking at "meals on wheels" programs as seniors and medically fragile people stay home for their safety.
Food aid programs are increasing sanitation standards - and spending more on means less to spend on food.
Food banks need to distribute double or triple size hampers to reduce client visits and exposure - which requires funding up front.
In short, there is less to go around right as more people than ever need help.
ISN'T THE GOVERNMENT HELPING?
Yes, the government is releasing new programs each day to support vulnerable Canadians - but there are gaps in those programs, and many will take weeks to implement. Canadians are going hungry, scared and unsupported - today.
No federal funding has yet been pledged to address the non-profit world; with major fundraising events cancelled and food donations dropping in response to bare store shelves, many small non-profits including our partners may not have the funding they to get through the next few months. This will leave vulnerable people in some areas with no food support at all.
Canada faced a hunger crisis long before this virus, and even a successful return to the status quo will leave FOUR MILLION Canadians hungry.
HOW IS MAZON CANADA RESPONDING?
MAZON Canada is the Jewish response to hunger - today and every day. Here's how MAZON Canada is responding on behalf of the Jewish community:
We are redirecting funding to emergency COVID-19 food relief among our partner agencies, to ensure that any and all Canadians have food on the table through this crisis. We hope to announce public grants and impact by March 30th.
As grassroots community efforts emerge across the country to support neighbours in need, MAZON Canada is seeking to lend our legitimacy, knowledge and network to support and develop them (learn more).
To limit contagion, all our work is now remote to do our part to #flattenthecurve.
To get updates on our response, please sign up for our newsletter.
To support Canadians in need, please DONATE NOW.
Thank you for your support through this crisis. Stay safe. Zai gezunt - be healthy.
- Izzy Waxman
Director, MAZON Canada