A lot has happened in the past two years: a global pandemic, a volatile housing market, increased rent, and now, skyrocketing food prices. Recent reports predict that food prices will rise between five and seven percent in 2022 and will likely affect people who have never had to worry about food affordability. It is more important now than ever that our Good Food Centre (GFC) is open, fully stocked, and ready to help anyone who needs support.
Over the last year, the Good Food Centre had over 1,300 new families access the program and an average of 3,500 individuals who visited the GFC each month. Our Director of Food Services, Sue Smith, explains, “We have already started to experience the rise in food costs, which means our community members have as well.” Sue adds that individuals who do not have extra disposable income are forced to make difficult decisions about which essential items they should purchase, and end up leaving the store with far less than what they need.
“Poverty should not dictate what food can be enjoyed, and that is where our Good Food Centre comes into play” says Sue. In 2021, the Good Food Centre began providing 10 days’ worth of food to community members, focusing primarily on fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy and eggs. This vital focus has remained the same as the pandemic continues.
The Good Food Centre team has worked tirelessly to ensure every aspect of service is as safe as possible to protect staff and the increasing number of families accessing the program.
“I’m always surprised by the amount of food that I get when I visit the Good Food Centre. I appreciate that it isn’t just canned food too. There is a lot of fresh produce and the variety of items helps me make different meals that my kids and I really enjoy” says one visitor. The Good Food Centre team strives to offer food that can be made into a variety of different meal options. Sue explains that “food that ‘goes together’ gives that much more dignity to an individual or household who needs assistance.” The focus of ensuring the dignity of our visitors is evident in the food and support that is offered at our Good Food Centre, and we could not ensure that without the generous and dedicated support of our community.