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Addressing child poverty in Saskatoon

Addressing child poverty in Saskatoon
WATCH: Local organizations are looking to change the poverty rate for children in Saskatchewan.

Local organizations such as the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre are trying to eliminate child poverty in Saskatchewan.

For some, the Clothing Depot at 223 Ave. B S. is a place they can rely on to help their family survive during tough times.

READ MORE: More than a quarter of Saskatchewan children living in poverty

“When people come in, it’s typically a two-dollar service fee to obtain three items behind the counter but if someone comes in and they absolutely cannot pay, they are not refused,” said Clothing Depot manager Chantelle Tutka.

In Saskatchewan, it’s a big issue.

“In Saskatchewan, we are the third-highest rate of child poverty in Canada,” said Deborah Hamp, director of operations and engagement with the Saskatoon Food Bank.

“And so what that looks like is about 26 per cent of children are living in poverty in our province and it’s just unacceptable.”

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Addressing child poverty in Saskatoon
Saskatchewan’s child poverty numbers have decreased over the past 12 years; however, they are still very high. Graphic / Global News

“We are in a position where we provide clothing and household items to families here at our clothing depot. As an organization, we provide emergency food baskets, we provide programs that help people learn and grow and get into employment opportunities and re-enter education,” Hamp said.

Throughout the winter months, clothing items are always needed and accepted. Some of those include winter boots, as well as jackets for men, women and especially for those younger kids.

READ MORE: Anti-poverty advocates slam Sask. Income Support program

With some positive news on Monday, Food Banks of Saskatchewan announced its 2019 holiday fundraising campaign raised $2 million, including a $250,000 matching donation from fertilizer company Nutrien.

“Year after year, as food banks struggle to keep up with the demand for emergency food,” Food Banks of Saskatchewan executive director Laurie O’Connor said in a press release.

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“Many food banks not only provide emergency food but deliver innovative programs and services that lead to improved outcomes in the lives of children, seniors, post-secondary students and working families.”

“We want to commend Nutrien for their generosity in supporting our holiday campaign.”

Donations received during the campaign will be allocated to 33 food banks that are registered with Food Banks of Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan children make up over 42 per cent of those using the services of food banks, according to Food Banks Canada’s 2019 report.