Today, Ontario has reported another 1723 cases of COVID-19 and, tragically, 35 more deaths.
An interesting note here is that we are seeing COVID-19 cases in Ontario spread out geographically more and more – five public health units now report more than 100 new cases, and another 10 have double digit case numbers.
As we move into the holiday season, I’m encouraging everyone to exercise caution in their day-to-day lives to slow the spread of COVID-19.
We need to make sure that we’re all maintaining a safe distance from those who we do not live with, that we wear masks over our noses and mouths while we’re in public, and that we’re washing our hands regularly. It’s also important that we’re following the best advice from our public health experts so that we can all work together as one to put COVID-19 behind us.
Food insecurity has long been a problem in Ontario, but since the onset of COVID-19, we have seen a significant spike in the usage of food banks across the province. In fact, since COVID-19 began to spread in Ontario, we have seen a 26% increase in first-time food bank usage – and despite this increase, we have seen no more money from the provincial government to address the new level of demand.
It is imperative that the Ford government stop pinching pennies here and invest in the services that people need.
No one should be going hungry during this pandemic.
However, while the provincial government continues to drag its feet, we are seeing many local organizations step up to the plate to address this need themselves. One such group in our backyard is the Toronto Miracle – who are hosting a food drive in our community this weekend.
They will be setting up this Saturday, December 5th from 10:30 AM to 5 PM outside John Bosco Church (402 Westmount Ave - corner of Westmount and Rogers Road). They will have strict COVID-19 protocol in place to ensure that the food drive is safe – and you are encouraged to drop off any food that you can spare.
This is part of the Toronto Miracle Food Drive – and knowing the incredible residents of Toronto-St. Paul’s I have no doubt that it will be a huge success.
Finally today, I want to say an enormous thank you to everyone who took the time to speak in committee this week in support of my bill – Bill 61 to create an Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Ontario!
So, to Devon Spier, the NEDIC, Body Brave Canada, and everyone who lent their voice to support this important initiative - thank you!