OPSEU and its members have a long history of supporting food banks across Ontario, and last year was no different. Along with many local donations and volunteer efforts, the OPSEU board donated $25,000 to the Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB).
“Your generous support had a lasting impact on the 499,000 Ontarians in need that we serve,” the OAFB wrote in a letter to OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas and First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida.
“This contribution was vital to our mission to strengthen communities by providing food banks with food, resources, and solutions that address both short and long-term food insecurity.”
The OAFB says OPSEU’s contribution supported three key initiatives:
- Hunger Action Month, A postcard campaign in September focussed on encouraging MPPs to increasing housing support (since many food bank users spend more than 70 per cent of their income on housing).
- The OAFB’s 25th Anniversary conference, which hosted 150 delegates from over 125 communities and which featured an OPSEU-led workshop entitled “Engaging Your Elected Representatives.”
- FeedON, OAFB’s distribution program which ensured the safe delivery of more than 4.5 million pounds of food (the vast majority of which was fresh or frozen) through its network of 129 direct member food banks and 1,100 affiliate agencies.
“I look forward to the day when no Ontarian needs the help of a food bank to get the nutrition they need,” says OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.
“We’ll get there when we elect governments that ensure we have public services that are properly staffed and funded," Thomas says. “But until then, I’m proud of the support our union is giving to organizations like the Ontario Association of Food Banks, which are doing such important work.”