Oakville’s Hunger: An Unspoken Tale

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Oakville’s Hunger: An Unspoken Tale
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Mashaal Effendi

Mashaal Effendi is a postgraduate student at Sheridan College pursuing Public Relations - Corporate Communications.Mashaal has worked as a writer in film, television, theatre, advertising, communications, and even in speechwriting during his time as a Toastmaster.An avid reader, video game enthusiast, and musician ( who presently plays drums for a band called "The Downgrades"), Mashaal enjoys gathering experiences around Oakville, and is ecstatic to be on the team covering events that breathe life into the community.

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Hunger in Oakville? Perish the thought that one of Canada’s wealthiest towns, listed as one of Narcity’s 11 richest neighbourhoods of the GTA, would have issues like food insecurity and hunger.

Facts about Hunger in Oakville

  • The Oakville Community Foundations’s latest Youth Report  reported 162 Oakville students who were supported with weekend backpack food programs.
  • The Oakville Fareshare Food Bank feeds 1,300 people per month.
  • Food for Life, an organization dedicated to providing food for those in need around the community, launched a ‘Dear Neighbour’ campaign that delivered food to a staggering number of 3,967 Oakville residents.
  • Tomas Buchan, a Resident Advisor at Sheridan College reports that there is a large community of students that are in need of food and regularly take donations from its college-centric food bank.
hunger

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Contrary to popular belief, hunger is a prominent issue for residents of Oakville  just as much as other areas of Canada. Owing to the affluence of the town, it is actually difficult to speak out about being unsure where one’s next meal is coming from.

Chelsea, a long time resident living in Oakville who has previously been food insecure says “There’s not enough places in Oakville that provide food, and the places that do exist are not easily accessible.  Furthermore, you’re not comfortable discussing your situation, especially in a town that’s so wealthy. There are many social challenges as well as physical that come with being food insecure in a mostly well-off town like Oakville.”

In fact, according to the Oakville Community Foundation’s latest Youth Report, “child poverty, food insecurity, inadequate housing, and a host of other hardships remain prominent features in the lives and realities of many children in our community.”

Tomas Buchan also adds,  “In Oakville, the stereotype is that everyone is well off and wealthy. It’s important to remember that there are people who are food insecure in every single community.”

In fact, the soon to be Interaction Design student added that some important contributing factors to he epidemic are:

  • People might be previously food secure but their situation can change. This means even wealthy Oakvillians are not exempt from possible hunger and food shortage.
  • There is a stigma around food insecurity in Oakville and many residents who are poor feel uncomfortable speaking about their situation.
  • There are many ready hands around the community, but because of the crippling stigma and shame surrounding food insecurity, it is hard to provide resources for those in need.

If you would like to make donations for openly and/or closeted food insecure individuals around Oakville, some food banks to keep top-of-mind include:

Ultimately, every community has residents that go through severe hardships on a daily basis, and Oakville is no different. It is important to keep an eye out for individuals in your surrounding who may be in dire need of your compassion, or at the very least, notice.

 

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