It was a chance meeting on a Monday in 1985 that would alter my life path for good. The meeting was with a young man with curly blond hair who, in many ways, looked very much like one of my own teenage sons. I was working at Fleming College at the time, coordinating a government program to help youth who had left high school and lacked job experience.
As the province shutters schools for three weeks because of COVID-19 and people are urged to stock up on essentials, Jamie Bergin, one of the owners of Boiling Over’s Coffee Vault, is worried about Kawartha Lakes Food Source.
More specifically, he’s worried about the increased number of people who will most likely be accessing food banks in our area.
Kawartha Lakes Food Source announced the kick-off of a new program designed to eliminate the need for disposable dishes at community events, while also supporting food banks across the Kawartha Lakes.
“We were inspired by our recent work with FoodRescue.ca to expand our efforts to reduce waste related to food and its consumption,” says Jessica Topfer, FoodRescue.ca coordinator at Kawartha Lakes Food Source.
For many years I have argued for the need for a well-planned basic income guarantee. For ought not the citizens of a country have a fair claim to a small dividend of the society we have all helped to create?
I have spoken with politicians of all political stripes on this matter over the past few years, including three high-profile federal Conservatives. These three Tories — all of whom were connected to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s governments — were at least open to trying basic income pilots.
New year, same result. That, in a nutshell, describes the ongoing challenges many families in the City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County, and Northumberland County face to pay for healthy food.
Gaston Tremblay remembers camping and fishing in Kawartha Lakes and surrounding areas with his family twice a year in the 1970s and early 1980s. It was a peaceful and tragically short time of his life.
He tried three times over the years to get back here, where he believed things might be better for him. By the time he was 14, though, his then-undiagnosed mental health issues sent him on another path — to his first stay in a psychiatric ward.
Afterwards he found himself homeless and on the streets across Canada, an anguished journey that would last more than 18 years and cost him nearly everything he held dear.
United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes (UWCKL) has announced A Place Called Home (APCH) as the recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Telecare Mona Hall Fund to pilot a new Youth Emergency Fund Project.
“Apartment for rent $1,600.00 per month, no kids, no pets, no smokers.”
This ad sums up the difficulty facing many renters in Haliburton County. Working full-time at minimum wage, one would have approximately $500 for all other expenses after paying rent.
The sweeping changes to the labour market in Canada over the past 20 years is sparking an unprecedented use of food banks. Heather Kirby, general manager of Kawartha Lakes Food Source says, “The road to the door of a food bank is as different as there are stars in the sky. Housing, child care and transportation are expenses that must be a priority which moves food to the bottom of the list. These choices are nearly impossible to make.”