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Food Banks Canada plans to deliver 150,000 food packs to children in need this summer


A Canadian organization is aiming to deliver 150,000 healthy food packs to people in need this summer, in what its executives describe as an ongoing fight against child food insecurity.

The "After the Bell" program is part of an initiative from Food Banks Canada. The meals are scheduled to be sent to participating food bank programs throughout the country to help keep kids from going hungry.

Since the start of the pandemic, food banks have experienced an exponential rise in the number of people coming to access their services.

Experts estimate that children make up nearly 35 per cent of all food bank recipients, even though they represent less than 20 per cent of the population.

"To think about that many kids needing extra help is very very difficult," Tania Little, chief development and partnerships officer for Food Banks Canada told CTV News Channel on Sunday. "We’ve seen the greatest density of need in large urban centres, which isn’t surprising because those communities and markets have been most impacted by the pandemic as far as seeing the number of layoffs or declined hours."

Little notes that while food insecurity has been a troubling issue long before the pandemic, school closures have made it drastically worse for some children who rely on school meal programs for nutrition.

"Kids haven’t been able to get that support [from] amazing breakfast programs, lunch or after school programs and that means that parents at home have to make their dollar stretch even further to ensure their kids have those meals," Little explained.

Food Banks Canada officials say they expect to see more people accessing their services as social support programs such as the Canada Recovery Benefit begin to wind down.

Little suggests that the decline in social support will lead to an increase in food bank recipients unless the economy is prepared to meet the changes and have people return to work at a quick pace.

"We know that food banks will need to be a support that is ready to be able to support community members in between this bridge," Little explained. Top Stories


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