The Issue: Food Insecurity
Food security is about more than just having food to eat, it’s about having consistent access to healthy and nutritious food that is culturally appropriate and meets a person’s dietary needs in order to live a healthy and happy life. With the rising cost of living, budgets are tight and food is often the only flexible expense. Food programs across our community are seeing increased demand. Not having enough healthy food to eat on a regular basis can have detrimental effects on your life as well as your ability to function at your best. Give to provide supports like emergency food programs, increasing access to fresh and healthy food, after school, weekend and summer school aged food supports, community meals, food preparation programs, and more.
How we help
United Way WRC has supported 5 local organizations in the past 6 months that are committed to ensure that nutritious, culturally appropriate foods are available to the most vulnerable in our community. When thinking about deep and long-lasting investment into local food security initiatives, UWWRC focuses investments in:
- Community meal programs – both delivery-based and in person. (Community Support Connections, Community Care Concepts, Community Kitchen Cooperative of KW)
- Food hampers and other food programs (Cambridge Food Bank, Anishnabeg Outreach’s Spirit Bundle program)
There is a strong web of frontline organizations working together to ensure the most vulnerable in our communities have access to quality food. Food is very social for many, and can serve as a first point of contact for isolated community members getting connected to other much needed sources of support.
The following are examples of impact of your donations from funded organizations and their programs.
- Cambridge Food Bank - Mobile Food Market provided baskets to 11 different neighbourhoods in Cambridge and North Dumfries, reducing stigma and increasing access to food for families.
- Anishnabeg Outreach - 450 local families supported over 3 months
- Community Care Concepts of Woolwich, Wellesley & Wilmot - 3,067 Rides provided to rural clients to get to medical appointments. 13,999 meals provided to isolated seniors
- Community Support Connections - 4241 Individuals and families received either Meals on Wheels, critical appointment transportation or grocery delivery services from Community Support Connections in the last 6 months.
- “United Way resources were essential to create and equip our on-site commercial kitchen. This is a significant investment in the sustainability of ABTC as the kitchen and shared space were created in refurbished school portables to ensure that the kitchen can travel with the community should we ever have to relocate again.” - A Better Tent City
- “UWWRC has been a long-standing and critical partner in Community Support Connections providing much-needed services to our community. Without that funding, it is doubtful we would have been able to continue to provide the services at the level and timeliness we did. In the areas of Grocery Shops and Transportation, wait list would have had to be implemented with some services even scaled back/reduced.” - Community Support Connections
United Way funding goes to some very exciting initiatives in food security from local agencies. The Community Kitchen Cooperative KW has hosted meals with the African Women’s Alliance, bringing together a group of women to collaborate and learn together, creating food from diverse backgrounds using ingredients found in Canadian grocery stores.
A Better Tent City talks about how residents are coming together to bake pies and make jam to elevate the pancake breakfast program, building a resilient community out of trauma.
Last year, the Cambridge Food Bank offered affordable produce baskets, which include culturally appropriate options to support 838 members of the community.