More than 7,000 Hamilton families visit a food bank each month. That is the sad reality. At any given time, according to Hamilton Food Share, about 35,000 Hamiltonians experience “food insecurity.” That means those people do not have reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food. Yet another sad reality in our community.
Many who depend on Hamilton’s food banks are among the working poor — they are employed but they don’t earn enough money to cover the basics of life. Because they work, they may not be able to easily access food banks during the usual operating hours. The city’s newly created emergency food strategic planning committee recognizes that gap. Food banks will soon extend their hours in a pilot project that aims to improve access for clients who work. Eight food banks will participate in a rotating scheduling of extended hours on Thursdays and Saturdays.
It is deeply disturbing that the need is so great within our community. But it is also a very good thing that the changing needs are recognized and that those who have had difficulties accessing the food they need because they work will, we hope, benefit the most.