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$474,500 lands in Hamilton to support food banks

Hamilton-East/Stoney Creek Liberal MP Bob Bratina and Joanne Santucci, executive director of Hamilton Food Share met Friday to discuss the federal government's response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Hamilton-East/Stoney Creek Liberal MP Bob Bratina and Joanne Santucci, executive director of Hamilton Food Share met Friday to discuss the federal government's response to the COVID-19 crisis. Ken Mann

A $100-million federal investment in Canada’s food banks during the COVID-19 pandemic meant more than $474,500 for food banks in Hamilton this summer.

Hamilton Food Share’s Joanne Santucci says they are “very grateful” for the support.

Read more: Close to 5,000 children visiting Hamilton food banks a month, annual hunger report says

Santucci says they were able to invest the federal money, combined with community contributions, to leverage more than one million pounds of food in three months.

She says that, in turn, “fed everybody all summer long.”

Read more: Hamilton Food Share says Bulldogs’ $100K donation a ‘great boost’ amid COVID-19 pandemic

Santucci adds that the focus now shifts to the fall and winter months as the pandemic continues, and “every family struggling with income has to look at boots, coats, supplies for kids.”

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When you add in heating bills, and the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, she stresses “these are a lot of things to navigate.”

In addition to $474,500 through the emergency fund for food security, Hamilton-East/Stoney Creek Liberal MP Bob Bratina says Hamilton Food Share will be receiving fresh and frozen food through the government’s purchasing and distribution of surplus food program.

Read more: Food banks’ demand surges amid COVID-19. Now they worry about long-term pressures

Bratina stresses that his government’s investments recognize “the effect of the pandemic on vulnerable members of our community can be minimized by ensuring nutrition.”

He also urges the community to continue donating to food banks, saying those donations “are guaranteed to have a positive and meaningful impact on families struggling through this crisis.”

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