As COVID-19 increases the need for aid, the Unifor Ontario Regional Council is contributing $80,000 to 14 food banks and women’s shelters across the province, with each organization receiving more than $5,000.
“The pandemic has resulted in a dramatic rise in intimate partner violence, as stay-at-home measures isolate women with their abuser while simultaneously cutting off access to outside support networks,” said Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi.
COVID-19 has put additional stress on women’s shelters, many of which were already operating at full capacity pre-pandemic.
Pandemic related job loss has also resulted in a significant increase in the use of food banks, already under pressure due to underemployment, stagnant wages and the rising cost of living.
“Food insecurity is not just a COVID-19 issue but the economic fallout of the pandemic has exacerbated income inequality and increased the number of our neighbours who are going hungry,” said Ontario Regional Council Chairperson Scott McIlmoyle. “That is why we continue to push for a living wage for all workers to aid the economic recovery following the pandemic.”
As food insecurity grows, reports consistently show that poverty disproportionately hurts children in families that are lone female-led, racialized, newcomers, Indigenous or affected by disabilities.
“Unifor members are an integral part of their communities,” said Rizvi. “We are pleased to help these organizations provide urgently needed services to families who are experiencing violence or food insecurity this holiday season and beyond into 2021.”
Organizations receiving donations from ORC:
DOMESTIC ABUSE SERVICES OXFORD
KINGSTON INTERVAL HOUSE
LENNOX & ADDINGTON INTERVAL HOUSE
RAINY RIVER DISTRICT WOMEN'S SHELTER OF HOPE
ST.MATTHEW`S HARMONY HOUSE
THREE OAKS FOUNDATION
WOMEN'S CRISIS CENTRE WATERLOO REGION
YOUNG WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
WOMEN'S HOUSE OF BRUCE COUNTY
LONDON FOOD BANK
WOMEN'S COMMUNITY HOUSE
MY SISTER'S PLACE