For over 30 years, on behalf of Jewish community, MAZON Canada has funded hundreds of food projects across the country and fed hundreds of thousands of Canadians in need.
This year, the coronavirus pandemic has made MAZON’s work more urgent then ever. Before the pandemic, over 4 MILLION CANADIANS were going hungry. During the pandemic, one in seven (14.6%) Canadians reported being food insecure - up from 10.5% just two years ago.
People are in dire straits, reaching out to food support systems that they never thought they would need. Our partners report heartbreaking stories of tearful calls for help from young families, the sound of an unfed baby’s cries in the background, or elderly people with not a mouthful to eat left in the house. The Daily Bread Food Bank, a major food redistributor in Toronto, reports that the rate of NEW CLIENTS ACCESSING FOOD BANKS HAS TRIPLED since the beginning of the pandemic.
Our partners, such as food banks, meals on wheels, and school nutrition programs, have all needed to adapt to our new world, where health and safety are at the forefront for staff, volunteers and clients. Agencies that remain open face unprecedented challenges: adapting to new health and safety regulations, restructuring for pick-up or delivery, and meeting the increased demand.
MAZON Canada responded to this crisis on behalf of the Jewish community with our Emergency Grants. Your support provided over $200,000 OF DIRECT AID since the start of the crisis, including food hampers, grocery gift cards, prepared meal deliveries, and street outreach meals. Through 79 PARTNERS in 40 TOWNS AND CITIES, we provided enough for 110,00 MEALS for vulnerable people fro all walks of life, all faiths, ethnicities, and ages. These numbers will only continue to grow, as more funds are allocated to many other organizations.
Although many of us have adjusted to the new normal, Canada’s food systems have not. Canada faced a hunger crisis before COVID-19, and for our food support system, the process of rebuilding is only just beginning. Whatever challenges come next, we must learn from this hard lesson and be sure the system we build is stronger and more resilient than the one that came before.