Asking the right people
By Jenn Watt
Published Aug. 6, 2019
We learned this week that food bank usage across the county is for the most part predictable, fluctuating with the seasons and as families move in or out of the community.
Hundreds of people access this emergency help, through centres across the county. Within our larger riding of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, nearly 4,000 people accessed the food bank in 2018; 1,355 were children.
Whether numbers are up or down depends on the time of year – with employment drying up in the fall for some seasonal workers – as well as personal circumstances. The loss of a spouse, for example, can drastically change one’s economic situation.
But even though numbers haven’t shot up in the Highlands, we can’t accept that they remain steadily in the hundreds. We need to be working to reduce them.
How do we do that? As we can see in the article in the Echo this week, one place to start is to listen to the insights from those working on issues of poverty in this community.
Just in this one article, food bank staff and volunteers have highlighted the financial difficulties that can come from losing a spouse, being a single person (with or without kids) trying to live on Ontario Works payments, and the importance of adequate housing options.
Each of these issues can be addressed in our community, through legislative change, charitable giving and in some cases (particularly housing), through the private sector.
We can’t be content with current levels of need in our county. Solutions are out there, we need to listen to the right people and act on their recommendations.
Ever wonder what’s happening in Haliburton County at night when you’re fast asleep? Who is working until midnight or coming in to work at 3 a.m.? Ever marvel at how many events and activities are all happening on one day across a municipality more than 4,000 square kilometres?
We do, too.
This week, the reporters at the Haliburton Echo and Minden Times are going to be embarking on a project to capture images around the clock on one day – 24 of them. From the night shift worker to vacationers having fun in the sun, we’ll be travelling the county documenting a sliver of the action one day in the Highlands.
Watch for our special section in next week’s Haliburton Echo and Minden Times.