“I used to buy those nice canned soups, and tomato soup – I love tomato soup. But when inflation increased food prices, those soups became a luxury,” says Michael.

Michael never expected to rely on food banks to get by. But this is the reality for him and many other Hamiltonians experiencing new or worsening food insecurity caused by the pandemic as well as the increasing crises of skyrocketing costs of living, of addiction, of mental health, and more. For those who need it, the Good Food Centre (GFC) is here to support those who can’t afford this basic need while respecting the dignity and agency of our

In the Fall of 2021, Michael’s life changed drastically when his income was suddenly reduced. He quickly found he didn’t have enough income so he sold many of his possessions, and shortly after moved into subsidized housing. Even with reduced living costs, Michael found he could not afford everything he needed. “Food costs really increased, so even less expensive items became difficult to purchase.”

A neighbour told Michael about the Good Food Centre, and this past October he accessed emergency food assistance for the first time.

“Now I can have cereal with my toast! I love getting milk and cereal – especially the uncommon cereals.”

“I get a lot of good things from [Mission Services] – canned vegetables and beans, fresh produce, meat. You get a lot of extra items too.” Michael said.

Michael was also able to receive some hygiene items, though, “…you get what you get,” he commented, “I was able to get some shampoo and shaving cream.” Hygiene items are not often donated, nor are items consistently available, but are always needed by our neighbours.

While grateful for the support from GFC staff, Michael hopes to be self-sufficient by the Fall of 2022. He looks forward to continuing his hobbies and passions such as playing the fiddle and creating up-cycled pieces such as antenna art.

Michael’s story reflects what we want our Good Food Centre to be – a stop-gap for individuals experiencing food insecurity where they can receive dignified service with variety and choice.

Unfortunately, many of our community members rely on food banks to survive, now more than ever.

Mission Services’ GFC saw a 30% increase in visits in 2021. Now with inflation making healthy food more unaffordable and making earnings worth less, we expect to see a minimum 25% increase in 2022.

To continue meeting the increasing need we need you. While our Good Food Centre is our largest program, it receives no guaranteed funding. The food our neighbours receive is dependent on the compassion of people like you. Our community members need help, and many need hope. I’m sure you’ve heard it said that hope starts with a meal, but before that, hope starts with you. By giving, you ensure that families in need in our community have enough healthy food. When they come to our Good Food Centre they know that someone out there cares.

What could be more hopeful than that?

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