Across Canada, one in eight households have experienced food insecurity within the past 12 months (2019 Hunger Count Report, Food Banks of Canada). Fifteen percent of these households do not have the means to get to a food bank or a community meal program to receive support. Here in York Region, Routes Connecting Communities Inc. (Routes) has provided over 2,500 fully subsidized trips for more than 550 people to attend community dinners and to access food banks in Aurora, Georgina, Newmarket, and Whitchurch-Stouffville over the last ten months. Over the upcoming years, it is anticipated that the transportation services Routes provides will become increasingly vital to the growing York Region population, especially those living rurally where alternative modes of transportation are inefficient or non-existent. But we cannot do this alone.
For COVID-19 safety food banks have moved to hamper deliveries and community meals take-home meals are being given. Routes continues to serve clients by delivering the hampers and meals to the residents. On average, Routes delivers around 70 food pantry hampers and community meals to residents per week.