Giving This Thanksgiving


TORONTO — While fiscal prognosticators note that Canada’s recession has technically been over for some time now, The Salvation Army’s recently released report, highlighting their food distribution and foodservice operations, tells a different story.

The mid-year, national survey of more than 140 Salvation Army foodservice workers from across the country indicates that demand for food programs, including food banks, meal programs and street ministry units, is on the rise. More than three-quarters of all respondents indicated that requests for foodservice increased this year. At the same time, food donations in most areas either remained the same or decreased in 2010.

What’s more, the majority of Salvation Army staff estimate their food shelves are less than half-full and, in some cases, approaching dangerously low levels. Respondents note that items in greatest demand include basic grocery items like meat, milk and grains.

According to the survey, 81 per cent of respondents indicated requests for foodservice increased during the previous 12 months, compared to 73 per cent of respondents who noted the trend in 2009.

“The recession has a long tail. Every day our foodservice units are helping more and more families and individuals who are still facing difficult financial decisions, such as whether to pay a grocery bill or monthly utilities,” said Graham Moore, territorial secretary for Public Relations and Development with The Salvation Army.

The second annual report, “Restocking the Shelves 2010,” surveyed 143 Salvation Army officers, employees, staff members and administrators across Canada with first-hand experience in the organization’s foodservice programs between July 15 and Aug. 15. The survey helps gauge food stock levels at Salvation Army feeding centres nationwide.


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