Food insecurity has been a challenge in Brampton for many years. Fortunately, community organizations, local groups and places of worship have always found a way to help.
During the pandemic, families lost direct access to food programs after places of worship, schools and community agencies were forced to shut down. In response to the pandemic emergency, the city initiated a Social Support Task Force to work with organizations and strengthen Brampton’s food supply and distribution network. Councillor Santos was proud to have chaired this task force and hear first hand from the community and residents on this issue.
While we are no longer in an the emergency, the food insecurity challenges continue. There is an increase in the need for access to food programs. Recent statistics for Peel Region show that 111,925 residents (8%) live in poverty in Peel, including 28,680 children between the ages of 0-17. Further, food prices have increase by 11.4% year over year.
To address this growing problem of food insecurity, six local agencies collaborated to establish the Brampton Food Hub and launch it on Sept 21 (2023). The organizations are united by a shared mission to build a sustainable food network in Brampton and ensure equitable access to nutritious, culturally appropriate food for all residents. This ground-breaking initiative inspired from work during the pandemic brings together:
- All Peoples Church
- Basket Brigade Canada
- Bethel Outreach Community Services
- Free for All Foundation
- Punjabi Community Health Services
- Knights Table (lead organization)
Brampton Food Hub Launch (Photos)
Councillor Santos proudly commented at the launch:
“The growing problem of food insecurity in our community is nothing to celebrate. When community leaders and groups come together like a family to help those most in need, that is worth celebrating. I am so proud of the partners, with Knights Table as the lead, choosing to pool resources and work together to solve one of the biggest challenges in our community. Thank you for choosing to work together to better serve our residents.”
The Brampton Food Hub is a significant stride in combating food insecurity. With a centralized food warehouse model, it enhances the capacity to procure and distribute healthy food to vulnerable communities across Brampton. Through the Region of Peel’s Community Investment Program, funding was allocated to address the increasing use and demands of food banks. Regional funding provided for new equipment including increased warehouse and food donation storage space, delivery trucks to procure donations, walk-in freezers and refrigeration spaces for fresh food storage.