October 24, 2022 A Chilling Parallel: Canada hits a 40-year high inflation rate as we celebrate 40 years of The Stop This year, which marks The Stop’s 40th anniversary, Canada hit a 40-year high inflation rate. Our latest report outlines our impact, and the devastating implications of the record inflation levels on food-insecure Canadians: In our food bank, we’ve seen a 10% increase in total visits and a 17% increase in the total number of people served this fiscal year compared to last fiscal.In just one year, the cost of a single food bank hamper increased by 20%, from $44 to $53.46% of Canadians ranked the cost of housing as their largest obstacle to affording food, up from 21% only a year before – note that 62% of our service users spend more than half their income on housing. Our community members still don’t have adequate supports, and our organization is facing a higher demand than ever before. The Stop continues to experience both an unprecedented need for our emergency food access services and a sharp rise in costs in providing our programming. For 40 years we have been supporting our community and we will continue to do so Right now, and in the future, we must push for systemic change while also meeting the present needs of the community. The impact report presents policy recommendations to tackle inequality and to dismantle the systemic barriers that keep our community members in poverty: Increase social assistance rates to be in line with the cost of living in each city instead of a single rate across the province. Implement a federally-guaranteed living wage, adjusted for the cost of living in each region.Introduce vacancy control to help ensure affordable housing and stabilize rental rates. Our accomplishments We are also proud to share what we have accomplished this year with your support: From Jan – Sept 2022 we served 58,476 meals, in line with the demand we experienced last year. In total in 2021, we served almost 80,000 meals, we expect this year to be similar or higher numbers.We served 10,383 emergency food hampers between September 2021 and August 2022, approximately 865 hampers per month. 237.02 kg of food has been harvested from our Earlscourt garden and donated to our volunteers and kitchen as of October 2022. 87% of our volunteers strongly agree/agree their volunteer work makes them feel connected to their community. The provision of emergency food services by social service agencies was never designed to be a permanent solution to hunger. We will strive to ensure that we continue to provide our services to as many people who need them, to dismantle the systemic barriers that perpetuate poverty, and to continue to do so with the highest level of integrity and dignity that The Stop is known for. We will continue to uphold the founding principle that good food is a human right. Thank you for being part of our community for the last 40 years.