Article content continued
Deirdre Freiheit, the CEO of Shepherds of Good Hope, said her organization has been serving about 1,000 extra meals per month since the pandemic started despite a decrease in the amount of people staying in shelters.
“What we’re seeing is that people are coming for meals that are in the community because in many cases they’re having to choose between being able to pay their rent and put food on the table,” said Freiheit.
What I'm really concerned about is the economics
Like most charities, Freiheit said they peering into a deeply uncertain future.
“We just don’t know what it’s going to look like as we get into the fall and winter because things are not changing in terms of the need for it, by any stretch,” she said.
The report from Cardus took account of all the discretionary spending that wasn’t happening during the early days of the lockdowns, with things like travel and restaurant meals falling virtually to zero. The report combines that data with Statistics Canada information about where people are likely to spend.
The report highlights some stark divisions in who was hit hardest by the pandemic. Younger workers and lower wage workers were far more likely to lose income than anyone else. People with job security who were able to work from home saw big savings on some normal big ticket items, as daycares closed and planes were grounded.
“We know that the older and wealthier workers are the ones who were better able to weather the economic storm,” Daniel Proussalidis, the director of communications for Cardus.
Proussalidis said a big part of the battle is just reminding people that charities survive on donations and that they may be struggling these days.
“Canadians are generous. We know that,” he said. “I think one of the ways to really put that in people’s minds is for the federal government to step up and to do temporary dollar-for-dollar donation matching.”
• Email: email@example.com | Twitter: