St. Vincent Place issued the following letter to Sault Ste. Marie’s elected officials surrounding the food insecurity situation in the city.
Dear Mayor Shoemaker, members of City Council, MPP Ross Romano, and MP Terry Sheehan, We are reaching out to you all today on behalf of the St. Vincent Place food bank.
As you have been hearing in the media, food insecurity in the Sault has reached extreme levels. Here at St. Vincent Place, we are seeing more clients accessing our food bank than ever before. To offer a clear example of just how much things have changed since before the pandemic, consider these stats:
- This past Saturday (November 11), our food bank helped 61 households (a total of 92 individuals). On the equivalent weekend in 2019 (November 9), we had clients from just 18 households (a total of 33 individuals).
- In 2023, we have set records in our food bank for the highest number of households in one day (63), the highest number of individuals in one day (97), the highest number of households in one month (353), the highest number of individuals in one month (580), and the highest number of children in one month (134). [These numbers do not include Lunches for Learning stats.] By the end of October this year, our year-to-date numbers had already exceeded our totals for 2022.
- You’ve also heard much about the impact of opioids within our community, and unfortunately this is
something that our front-line volunteers see all too often as well. Just two weeks ago, volunteers had to run out of the food bank and down the alley beside our building to administer narcan to a client. We’re sharing all of this because as you can tell, our food bank offers a clear view into the significant
need in our community. In an effort to help you get a firsthand look, we would like to invite each of you to volunteer just once in our food bank. We are open Wednesdays 4:30 to 7:00pm and Saturdays
11:30am to 2:00pm, and we would be happy to welcome one or two of you at a time.
- We believe that for true change to come about, our elected leaders must do more than just read about what’s going on in the community, they should be seeing it themselves. Although some of you have some experience in this realm, we hope that you will take this opportunity to learn more about food insecurity, addictions, homelessness, and poverty in Sault Ste. Marie. We look forward to hearing from you soon to arrange your visit.
St. Vincent Place