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Toronto battles with food security during pandemic

By Shruthi Rajeswaran

During the pandemic, families living in Toronto experienced great losses as individuals

continued to lose their jobs. As a result, food was in great demand and the certainty of food

security remained as a question in many households. The number of residents seeking support from the government gradually increased in alarming increments. However, many residents were ineligible to apply for government funded aid, or weren’t able to sustain their families on government aid itself. Consequently, food banks experienced unprecedented increases in demand during such trying times. The food banks that were able to function during the pandemic, opened their doors to many residents in need.

Food insecurity has been a prevalent issue for the people in our community since before the

impact of COVID-19 as well. It was a predator that targeted the most vulnerable members of

society. Racialized individuals, children, single mothers, newcomers and other endangered

groups are all at risk of falling prey to food insecurity. This problem infects these groups with

wide reaching effects such as having a negative impact on physical and mental health, affecting relationships with loved ones, being prone to social isolation, serving as an unconquerable barrier to finding and maintaining employment and more.

As the months passed and our communities managed to sustain themselves under these

unforeseen circumstances for a year, we are now navigating food security and its needs in a

world that looks very different from how it

was a year ago. Walking into a grocery store today

and seeing bare shelves and various sections of the store being restricted can send shoppers

into a sense of anxiety and develop the need to hoard or stock their pantries with a sufficient

supply of food out of fear of food insecurity. Although we are easing into lifting the restrictions and we have had a year to get used to the world during a pandemic, new challenges are constantly being presented that makes simple tasks such as food shopping a major obstacle to overcome during a typical day.

Food security continues to be a problem for low income families as the supply of food

decreases resulting in prices to substantially increase. Canada’s food system needs to improve to be resilient as the pandemic progresses and allows more and more people to be at risk of being vulnerable to the food security issue that continues to harm our communities.

At Rising Sun Food Drive, we are committed to combatting hunger and poverty and address the gaps with accessing food in vulnerable communities. Recently, Rising Sun Food Drive secured over 5000 pounds of rice from Global Medic. Learn more about the our Impact in our community and consider some ways you can help.

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