More and more workers are in need

News 14 March, 2018
  • Photo Marie-Ève Dumont
    The Mission Bon Accueil is built as a grocery store so that people can choose their products and ensure greater dignity.

    Dominique Scali

    Wednesday, 14 march, 2018 01:00

    Wednesday, 14 march, 2018 01:00

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    More and more workers are resorting to food banks even if they have a job, whether due to a divorce, illness of a spouse or of the difficulty to find a job full-time.

    “One day, a young mother has sent her three children to our summer camp, with one meal and a message that said : up to you to choose which of my kids is going to have a lunch today “, were reported by monitors, in July last, Sam Watts, president of the Welcome hall Mission.

    And this mother had a job, he says.

    Not unemployed

    The Newspaper interviewed four organizations that make gifts of food, and all of them have the habit of coming to the aid of people who have a job.

    Even that this customer is on the increase, are of concern to managers of the network of food Banks of Quebec, which brought together 30 resources. In 2017, 11 % of their clients had income from employment, a record in eight years.

    These people often find themselves in need after a major turning point, and stressful in their life, ” explains the director general, Annie Gauvin. For example, a mother whose spouse falls ill and is found to be the only purveyor.

    This is also the case of people who can only find part-time jobs. According to Statistics Canada, 59 % of minimum-wage workers are 25 hours per week or less.

    Some will combine the two jobs, which complicates their schedules and made sure that they rarely have a vacation, ” said Ms. Gauvin. Some become exhausted, develop psychological problems, which plunges into poverty, ” she says.

    $ 400 in gasoline

    “It is quite possible to work and not getting to the end of the month,” said Gil Emil Laflamme, Group, self-help, Sorel-Tracy.

    In his region, the economy is shrinking, ” he says.

    “People are forced to travel up to Montreal to work, and that means spending the $ 400 to $ 500 per month in gasoline.

    Those who can’t afford to self are much more limited in their employment opportunities as the public transport system is almost non-existent in their region, ” says Dr. Laflamme.

    But how to ensure that donations go to people truly in need ?

    “This is a case-by-case basis. Some banks are more restrictive than others, ” admits Andrew Dobrowolskyj, Food for all, in Longueuil.

    This organization has agreed to help Ms. Lachaine (see other text), whereas two others had refused.

    “It is safe to ensure that they do not have a million in the bank,” quipped Sam Watts, of the Welcome hall Mission.

    But cases of refusal are rare and people who try to take advantage of a service that they do not need, even more rare, said Mr. Watts. “When they raise their hand for help, it is because they have exhausted other solutions. “