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As of June, 2020, one in seven Canadians were affected by food insecurity. By donating to The Salvation Army, you can help provide much-needed food aid to Canadian families who have been impacted by the pandemic.Supplied

This has been a year like no other. There is no denying it – people in our communities still face difficulties. In a country as wealthy as Canada, hunger is on the rise and people are panicking because they don’t have enough food to eat. We should all be concerned.

Before COVID-19, nearly 4.5 million Canadians couldn’t provide adequate food for themselves and their families. By June, 2020, that number grew by 39 per cent, affecting one in seven people.

“Salvation Army community and family services locations across the country have witnessed a dramatic upsurge in people needing assistance,” says Lieutenant-Colonel John Murray, territorial secretary for communications. “Many centres report an increase of more than 50 per cent in the quantity of food distributed compared to 2019.

“Food insecurity takes a serious toll on people’s physical, mental and social health. We can’t thank you enough for your generous support, which helps our neighbours in need know they are not alone in their struggles. They have an entire army on their side. "

The strain of food insecurity

There can be nothing worse than feeling hungry and not having money in your pocket. Mahmood understands the strain of food insecurity. In 2017, he and his family arrived in Canada hoping they could finally feel safe. In Iraq, where there was war, they had faced danger and their lives were threatened.

Mahmood and his family arrived in Vancouver from Iraq in 2017.Supplied

“We arrived in Vancouver with a bag of clothes,” Mahmood says. “After we located a basement apartment to rent, we lost our sponsor and support network. We were alone, isolated and spoke no English.”

Mahmood went to school to learn English and searched the internet for organizations who help newcomers. He found someone who spoke Arabic and she made an appointment for him with The Salvation Army.

“I showed The Salvation Army worker a picture of our apartment – no windows, no couches or tables, no beds,” Mahmood says. “I couldn’t afford to provide complete meals for my family, let alone household items.”

“When I had nothing, The Salvation Army gave me hope,” he says. “They changed my whole life, and my family’s life. We now live in a home. I have an income and a pay stub. Thanks to The Salvation Army, we are thriving as new members of our community.”

How you can help

People need peace and stability during times of need. Many struggle to obtain steady work or to provide for their family while making minimum wage or working multiple part-time jobs. Unemployment has taken its toll on hard-working people already struggling to make ends meet. Rising grocery prices mean more households experience food insecurity and more children learn what it means to go without.

You can ensure that Canadians in crisis will have food on the table.

You can relieve families of the guilt of not being able to provide for their children.

We can all be part of ending hunger. Help hungry families today.

Last year, The Salvation Army:

  • served 84,000 meals through school breakfast programs
  • provided 2.8 million meals at shelters and in feeding programs
  • assisted 1.5 million people with food, clothing or practical assistance
  • provided food to 7,600 people every day

Advertising feature provided by The Salvation Army. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.