Peterborough Salvation Army issues call for Christmas donations to help those in need

With 20 per cent of families in the Peterborough region living in poverty, local organizations are reminding those who can to give back during the holiday season. CHEX TV/Peterborough

Dozens of people lined up outside Peterborough’s Salvation Army on Monday morning to sign up for the charity’s Christmas hamper program.

Cory Robinson was one of them. “I’m out of work,” he explained. “And it’s hard to provide.”

READ MORE: 1.2 million Canadian children living in poverty: census

Robinson said he’s been out of work for a month, and has two grandchildren to care for. He said the hamper helps give his family a way to celebrate during the holidays.

According to the Salvation Army, Robinson’s story isn’t unique. The organization is issuing a broad appeal for donations as the Christmas giving season ramps up.

Recent figures from the organization show that 20 per cent of families in the Peterborough region are living in poverty.

Story continues below advertisement

Up to 8,000 people don’t have regular access to high-quality food and 29,000 have an annual income of less than $15,000.

“In fact, those numbers could be low, because at least 20 per cent of children and families are living in poverty,” said Casey Ready, executive director of the Community Counselling and Resource Centre.

READ MORE: Could you live in poverty for 1 month? United Way puts you to the test

Ready said the issues around poverty are complex, but stressed that a lack of affordable housing compounds the problem.

“We’ll see a family of four trying to live off $3,000 a month gross, and 50 per cent of that is going to rent,” she said.

Seasonal donations are helpful and necessary, she said, but noted the issue needs attention all year long.

Sponsored content