By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Northumberland County Council’s Social Services Committee will recommend that council proclaim September Hunger Action Month in Northumberland County at its Aug. 16 meeting.
The vote came following a report from Food Security Manager Rob O’Neil, who said that – for the year running April 1, 2022, through March 31, 2023 – more than 587,000 Ontario residents paid 4.53-million visits to food banks.
In 2022, 4,426 individuals (29% of them aged 17 or under) relied in food banks, paying 56,179 visits for help stocking their pantries. This represents a 31% increase in food-bank visits over 2021.
This need is served by the county’s Food 4 All warehouse and 12 local food banks.
To draw attention to the need in the community, O’Neil has a number of awareness initiatives planned for September, like sharing their 2023 Feed Change report detailing such data as food bank and school nutrition program statistics, promoting the foodhelpnorthumberland.cioc.ca tool to help individuals find food assistance within the county, and releasing a 30 Ways in 30 Days calendar to help raise awareness about food security in Northumberland. It will focus on local statistics and data, and encourage donations of times, product or funds to local food-assistance programs.
He also hopes county council will help with its proclamation of Hunger Action Month in Northumberland.