A Message from Our Executive Director Dan Irwin:
As I complete my first six months as Executive Director at Partners in Mission Food Bank, my first thoughts are how thankful I am to the Kingston community for your continued support. Help has been given by many who want to ensure that this vital piece of the community continues to survive and provide for our neighbours in need.
The past four years have seen our client base consistently rise to new levels with a 1.1% increase this year. In the last decade our hamper distribution has increased 66%. This is very concerning as we are presently experiencing a strong economy. Food Banks usually experience a decrease in need during these times, not increases. Almost 4% of our clients are working full or part time. From Feed Ontario’s Hunger Report 2019, in Ontario today, 48% of all minimum wage workers are 25 years or older, with 35% holding a post-secondary degree. The number of Ontario workers earning minimum wage has tripled in the past 20 years, now representing 15% of the workforce, the highest proportion in Canada. When this is factored in with an unbelievably low vacancy rate in Kingston, rent is taking up far too much household income. The government safety support systems are good for our clients, but they need to be updated.
Our mission statement is “To provide nourishment and hope to those we serve and an opportunity for our community to share”. We do not receive government funding. We need our communities help as we provide 50-60 food hampers to our neighbours in need each week day. We provide non-perishable, fresh food and since May, a meat option to those who want it. We receive a great deal of food donations, additionally, we have purchased over $175,000 so far this year.
During this giving season we need to receive enough money to purchase food for the next 6 months. As with most charities, we receive the bulk of our donations during December. Presently, our walk-in freezer requires a new door and repairs, in order to continue offering meat and other frozen items. These repairs will cost between $10,000-$15,000. Moving forward we are hoping to increase our monthly donations, this consistency will allow us to better plan and support more families.
We have always been well supported by Kingston’s businesses, groups and individuals. We understand the trust that Kingston has placed in us to help our neighbours. With our 100+ volunteers and our small but mighty staff of 6 we continue to efficiently serve our neighbours in need, with less than 10% overhead cost.
Thank you, Kingston, for your support, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the best in the New Year!
Partners in Mission Food Bank