united way bruce grey calls rising costs a crisis
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United Way Bruce Grey calls rising costs a crisis

The Executive Director of The United Way of Bruce Grey stated they are facing an affordability crisis as costs continue to climb.

Francesca Dobbyn says demand for food banks and utility support are through the roof.

“We have an over 200% increase in the number of seniors accessing our utility program. And our food programs we see with our partner agencies out in the community, people coming to the food bank, and needing help more than once a month. More people accessing free meal programs,” she explained.

“People on Ontario Works, living on $8,000. a year, so they basically need to be homeless because you really can’t keep a roof over your head at that level. It’s really disheartening. And we had a lot of government money through pandemic, so we could help people, and our food programs could get groceries. And all that funding has dried up. All our homelessness funding is gone,” she continued.

Dobbyn said the United Way Bruce Grey relies on donations, but donors are also facing a budget crunch

“We’re a hundred percent fundraised organization, and we rely totally on the community to support the work we do out in the community and its becoming more and more of a challenge, because even our donors who normally would donate $50 or $100./ are having to cutback on their donations , she added.

She says there are concerns around meeting the needs of the community, as they are having to say no a little more often.

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