Why We Do It
It can be difficult and heartbreaking to wrap our heads around the fact that thousands of children in Ontario, including many in Brant-Haldimand, have little access to food once they leave school on Friday afternoon.
Not only can it be emotionally distressing for children to live with food insecurity, this issue can eventually lead to health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Impacts such as difficulty concentrating in school and depression are also associated with food insecurity.
While our communities might appear to be well-off, statistics indicate that 8.6% of households in Brant County are considered low-income, with 20.8% of children in Brantford specifically living in low-income households. This means that roughly 5,000 children and youth are susceptible to food insecurity in Brant County alone.
Child hunger can be much more devastating for a child than it might seem. Not only does it cause discomfort and health issues, it can cause social issues in relating to peers, behaviour problems, and issues with focusing in class. Many aspects of the child's life are hurt when a child experiences food insecurity.
When children receive reliable access to food, they receive more than just nourishment. They also receive the ability to focus more easily in class, exercise and play more comfortably, and to feel more secure, causing a positive effect on mental health.