Food for Thought Blog

Addressing Food and Financial Insecurity

February 4th, 2020Awareness

Originally published by Hoyes Michalos, Ontario Bankruptcy Blog

Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. - Hoyes Michalos Bankruptcy Trustee and Consumer Proposals | OntarioAs an insolvency firm, we at Hoyes Michalos see the personal toll financial insecurity brings to individuals and their families. The extent of the financial strain debt causes may surprise you. For many of our clients, making a debt payment at the beginning of the month can mean not having enough money at the end of the month for necessities, like putting food on the table.

As a firm committed to supporting the communities where we live and work, we are thrilled to partner with The Food Bank of Waterloo Region to raise awareness of the social issues that lead to food bank use and the evolving demographic profile of its users.

In our initial conversation with the Waterloo Food Bank, we learned that 52% of those who seek food assistance only require help three times or less a year. Yet when we look at this from the lens of our typical client, we understand. Much like debt problems, food insecurity can happen because of a catastrophic life event – a sudden job loss, underemployment, illness, or change in a relationship.

Just like debt problems, food insecurity can happen unexpectedly to anyone, at any time.

  • The 20-something who is struggling to make ends meet and pay rent on a minimum wage job,
  • The 30-something who is paying off student loans while working precarious contract positions,
  • The single mom whose income is insufficient to keep up with the rising cost of daycare,
  • The senior who’s fixed income can no longer be supplemented with credit.

Like those we help, these are our neighbours, our coworkers, and our friends.

Some further facts about The Food Bank of Waterloo Region:
  • 1 in 20 households struggle with hunger for one reason or another
  • 28% of households accessed The Food Bank for the first time last year

With our partnership with The Food Bank of Waterloo, we hope to inspire conversations that challenge and change the misconceptions around food and financial insecurity. We hope to raise awareness and combat the stigma, biases and isolation preventing someone from seeking support.