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LETTER: Pandemic has snapped 'tenuous lifeline' of community meals

More social housing is needed to provide food security — relying on the charitable sector and volunteers isn't feasible, Newmarket pastor says
preparing meals
Stock photo

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Re :'Where are homeless supposed to go when everything is closed?'

The coronavirus reveals, to my way of thinking, that there is a need for the implementation in York Region of a scale-up in the availability of social housing for those precariously housed, along with housing assistance for those who have been chronically homeless.  

If people were housed, then there would be less urgency to make sure such individuals had enough to eat.  

Certainly for many years, those in the volunteer and charitable sector have hosted community meals to help our neighbours have enough to eat.  

There is a religious motivation for this service. But when the volunteers reach the age when they are asked to remain at home during a crisis such as this, then reliance on the community meal model to provide food security is revealed as having its shortcomings.  

Principally, the community meal should be a social event to create community and encourage caring relationships.  

When it becomes a means for food security, then this tenuous lifeline for the most vulnerable snaps, as this pandemic has shown.  

I hope a decision for building more social housing can become a priority of our public and its governments.

Rev. Ross Carson, Newmarket