A message from our Executive Director...
I say this all too often, but the summers do go by so quickly! From late July until late September some days we can look like a farmers’ market as our local gardeners, farmers, with our inmate gardens at Collins Bay and Joyceville institutions share their produce. It is wonderful to see.
We are on pace to hit a 30% increase in food prices over the last three years. I know that it impacts all of us on our trips to the grocery stores, it is our weekly reminder that inflation has not gone away. We have noticed that our food donations are down, as more are struggling to keep themselves and their families fed. Thank you to all who have been able to continue to donate both food and monetary donations.
With inflation and mortgage rates rising, more households will feel financial pressures in the coming months. We at Partners in Mission Food Bank feel very lucky to be in Kingston. Our community has a stable economy, which enables us to feel less intense economic impacts. Another reason is that we have a very generous community. Our Kingston neighbours have supported us for almost 40 years, and I know the generosity that my friends at other local charities see as well. We have experienced a 9.9% increase in our food hampers distributed over last year. 1 in 20 Kingstonians have relied on our services so far this year. Many of our peer food banks in Ontario have seen numbers that triple ours. As we plan, we are always hopeful that Kingston will feel less of an impact, only time will tell.
With the increasing demand, we have outgrown our building. Our current volume means our clients must wait outside; it is not what we want. We are actively seeking to find a solution that will provide a better client experience, with more space for our volunteers to work, for our food receiving and storage.
Thank you again for your support, we cannot feed our hungry neighbours without you.
What have we been up to recently...
May 1 - With help from the Canada Summer Jobs Grant, we welcomed Brittany Cole, a student from St. Lawrence College to PIMFB. Britanny will be with us until Sept 2nd, working in both the front office.
July 6 – Pet Food - Through a volunteer we were able to connect with the Eastern Ontario branch of the SPCA and arrange for some large pet food donations. These have been a great help for our clients..
July 12,19,26, Aug. 2, 9 – Dominos Fundraiser, for a $5 donation to PIMFB at their stores, the donor would receive a medium pepperoni, double cheese, or green pepper pizza. Additionally, the staff donated their tips (over $700). Combined they raised over $15,000
July 14 – Joyceville institution provided us their first donation of the season, zucchinis from their inmate garden.
July 18 – Our garden at Collins Bay Institution, tended by the inmates provided us the first harvest of the season, two varieties of lettuce and radishes.
July 24 – New Staff - Julie Kastner returned to PIMFB in our Client Services role. You may remember Julie from a couple of years ago, she missed us and we missed her. She has a wealth of knowledge that she uses to help our clients and is extremely compassionate. We are very happy to have her back.
July 31 - End of the annual Give30 campaign: In total, $25,000 was raised for PIMFB. This is the most that has ever been raised in their 10 years of running this event! Give 30 was initially launched in 2012 to bring attention to hunger in our communities and encourage people to support local food banks during the month of Ramadan, however, people who are not fasting can also take part; donations come from people of all faiths and backgrounds, as we are all part of the same community.
Aug. 2 – RBC Foundation generously donated $5000 to support us.
Aug 4-6 - Tallack Martial Arts: Thank you to Tallack Martial Arts for supporting us by fundraising during their Summer Training Festival. They presented us with a cheque for $500!
Aug 16 - Staff and volunteer potluck: PIMFB volunteers and staff enjoyed another summer potluck get together. Thank you to Greenlees Meats for the delicious roast pork and gravy!
Aug. 17th - Khalsa Aid Kingston donated 105 lbs of baby food and 20 boxes of wipes.
Aug. 18 – Andrew & Emily’s No Frills, on Coverdale presented a cheque for $512 from customer donations during their Give A Little campaign.
Aug. 19 - 4th Annual Greekfest at the Greek church attendees donated non-perishable food or money to PIMFB for entrance. Grand total 600 lbs of food and just over $3100.
Sept 8 - 10th - 10th annual Kingston Ribfest & Craft Beer Show: Thank you to Impact Events Group Inc. for organizing another wonderful event, and Kingston & Area Real Estate Association for providing us with some amazing volunteers! Attendees enjoyed mouth-watering barbequed ribs and chicken, an incredible selection of Ontario craft-brewed beer, plus live entertainment, and a Kids Fun Zone. 1223 lbs. of food, and $7,152.45 was collected for PIMFB.
Ask the Money Lady
Dear Money Lady Readers – Now in an economic environment where people are struggling, it is important to remember that charity comes in many forms – monetary of course, but also by being helpful, understanding, loving and generous with your time and support.
It is a common assumption that those people stuck in the cycles of poverty, are personally responsible for their situation. This is a widespread belief by many who arbitrarily assign moral meanings to poverty. It is very easy for outside observers to see ways that the poor should better their situation. Those with money often say, “if they wanted it bad enough, they would find a way to improve.” Passing judgement on those impoverished is not the Canadian way. As a country, we support many world-wide charities and are very empathetic to those in need. What about those people around you in your day-to-day life, those people who make up your “personal bubble” ? Scarcity can be found everywhere, even in our own families. Border-line poverty affects your ability to make decisions and ultimately derails both the motivation and ambition of those who live in poverty. Poor people, especially single parents, and the elderly, have a lot of challenges and not having enough money for ordinary things that others take for granted causes many in poverty to make less rational decisions. When you are preoccupied with money worries you cannot help but feel challenged, in every way, every day.
There was a study done many years ago (Mullainathan/Shafir) that compared the IQ of those who had money and those that did not. The respondents were chosen because their IQ levels were the same at the beginning of the test. These were people from all walks of life, with all different education and ethnicities, from all over the country – the only requirement was that they had the same IQ score at the beginning of the study. All participants were given the same problems to solve and were told to relate the situations to their own lives. When faced with a financial challenge about their future, let’s say an expensive car repair, the ones that had the money to pay for the repair seemed to have a higher IQ with the balance of the testing. This was interesting. Why was this? Researchers theorized that the wealthier respondents did not have the “brain drain” of finding a solution to this problem because the answer to the question about how to meet the challenge of the car repair was relatively easy. They knew they could pay for the repair out of their savings or on credit, and their brains were free to move on to the next problem. This was not the same for the poorer respondents, who were stuck on the financial question since it was more difficult for them to know how to meet this personal challenge. The study showed that those with less monetary means seemed to lack the mental bandwidth available for the IQ test. It seemed the more questions poorer respondents had to solve when it came to monetary requirements the lower their IQ levels became.
You see being preoccupied by financial concerns makes everyone who has less, measurably unable to do the things that others can do because they have no worries about their future and the day-to-day monetary commitments. This is an ongoing problem in Canada especially now that inflation and interest rates are on the rise. Poverty does not discriminate by age – it effects the young to the very old. Canadians categorized as living in poverty, are those that have income below the 50% median income in the area in which they live. We must remember that it is harder for those impoverished to improve their situation than it is for those in our middle-class society, and we should never judge someone for what you believe is their lack of determination to improve their situation. There are many poor that have much more drive, determination and fortitude than those that have money. Many struggle with hardships that most upper-middle-class Canadians would never be able to endure. Remember, financial scarcity is generally not a one-time event, it has long lasting consequences and for those that can overcome it, they have indeed climbed the mountain and triumphed.
Good Luck & Best Wishes,
ATML - Christine Ibbotson
Written by Christine Ibbotson, Author, Finance Writer, National Radio Host, and now on CTV Morning Live, and CTV News @6. Send your money questions (answered FREE) through her website at askthemoneylady.ca
Hunger Action Month
September is Hunger Action Awareness for Feed Ontario. As a founding member of our provincial association, we proudly support them as we work to raise awareness in our communities and across Ontario.
- Reduce clawbacks and increase social assistance rates to help end the poverty trap. Recommendation: Increase social assistance rates and allow Ontario Works and ODSP recipients to keep more of their money by reducing clawbacks on earned income and other benefits.
- Provide gig workers with the same employment protections as other sectors. Recommendation: With nearly 1 in 10 workers in Ontario in the ‘gig economy,’ classify gig workers as employees to ensure that they receive the same protections provided under the Employment Standards Act, Employment Insurance, and the Canada Pension Plan.
- Make affordable housing accessible so people don’t have to choose between paying the rent or buying food. Recommendation: Invest in the costed plan of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association that makes recommendations for new and renovated affordable housing options over the next 10 years. 4. Put people with lived experience at the centre of policy and program design. Recommendation: Include consultation and the perspective of people with lived experience in the design and development of all programs, policies and policy changes, and support initiatives.
Our ask for you, please like and share our messages on social media. We all need to make sure our politicians know that we expect better for our neighbours.
A Client's Story - as told to Dan Irwin
Doris (not her real name) is in her mid-seventies and has been a client at Partners in Mission Food Bank for 11 years. She has lived in the Kingston area since November 1966 and has 2 children and 2 grandchildren.
Doris is a very independent, friendly, and active person. She has her own car and drives herself and friends where they need to go. She is careful using her car as gas and maintenance are very expensive. She has lived alone for the past 24 years and is struggling to cover all of her bills with her Canada Pension and Old Age Security. She relies on the food bank each month and also receives a delivered Senior’s Good Food Box (through Kingston Community Health Centres – KCHC).
Doris has some health issues and is limited in what she can lift. Recently, she was unable to pick up her own orders, but after two months she returned. Her independent thinking and attitude demand it. She says her children are not in a position to help her much. She knows how much it costs them and does not want them to give her anything. On occasion, she will borrow some money, but insists that she repays them, or she won’t do it again.
Doris is grateful for the help she gets at Partners in Mission Food Bank. She thinks they are a great help, and very patient. Last month she had an unexpected overnight hospital stay and called in late to say she could not make it to pick-up her order. She had expected to lose her order. She was pleasantly surprised when the food bank staff asked when she would be getting out and if she wanted to pick-up her order then. She always finds the staff and volunteers to be helpful and friendly. Doris says that she truly appreciates the food bank.
Our most needed items...
One of the biggest questions we get asked is, "What should I donate?". These are suggestions for our most needed items:
- Money (your dollars contribute to higher purchasing power)
- Canned meat & fish
- Peanut butter, jam
- Stews, canned tomatoes
- Baby food, formula, diapers
- Pasta, pasta sauce
- 100% Fruit Juice
Many Kingston and area grocery stores have a food collection barrel at store fronts that we pick up weekly:
Bearance's Grocery - 115 Livingstone Avenue
Food Basics - 33 Barrack Street
Food Basics - 1225 Princess Street
Food Basics - Highway 15 Riverview Shopping Centre
Foodland - 3 Manitou Crescent, Amherstview
Fresh Co. - 2327 Princess Street
Giant Tiger - 656 Gardiner's Road Riocan Centre
Loblaw's - 1048 Midland Avenue
Metro - 460 Gardiner's Road Gardiner's Town Centre
No Frills - Grant's - 1162 Division Street
No Frills - Chris & Beth's - 1030 Coverdale Drive
Valu-mart - Van Wart's Your Independent Grocer - 235 Gore Road
Garden Produce may be brought only to our warehouse location at 140 Hickson Avenue, Kingston during office hours:
Monday - Friday 8:30 am-12 noon and 1 pm-4 pm.