Forty years ago, Agincourt Community Services Association opened its doors and started providing services to community members in need, including access to a food bank which was intended to tide people over until they got over the rough patch. Move the clock forward and today ACSA is providing a range of responsive and accessible services for high need populations throughout Scarborough. Working together with Scarborough residents to create strong healthy and vibrant communities is at the core of what we do.
We all know that when you’re vulnerable and struggling to make ends meet, every day presents with challenges but inevitably the holiday season make those daily struggles appear even heavier to bear. Members of the community accessing our food bank come from many diverse backgrounds. They may need assistance in the short-term due to unemployment or adjustment to life in Canada or they may need assistance in the long-term due to disability or hardship.
In 2013, the ACSA food bank served approximately 27,500 adults and 19,000 children, such astounding need to be so prevalent is almost unimaginable…but yet this is the reality of our work. Based on our statistics for 2013, 17% of our clients are college graduates and 14% are university graduates. 70% of our clients were either born in Canada or have lived in Canada more than 5 years.
Our clients are the first in and the last out of recession and economic hardship. Many of our clients are juggling multiple social roles including parent, student, and employee. Many face significant barriers in entering the workforce such as underemployment, lack of experience, disability, and language barriers. While it is essential to connect individuals in need with resources and supports within the community, it is also part of community building to support their immediate needs such as food assistance.
The plethora of ACSA programs and services and the accessibility of the ACSA food bank allow us to link our clients to an extensive range of resources and services with the food bank as the first point of contact.
During the holiday season, those struggling individuals and families in our community turn to ACSA for additional supports, we are asking for your support with our Christmas Partners program to ensure those individuals most in need have access to sufficient food, opportunity to select a special gift for their child or accessing warm winter clothing, all the while ensuring we provide assistance in a dignified and respectful way…because we all need a little help at one time or another. By giving to the Christmas Partners program at Agincourt Community Services Association you ease the burden of hundreds of families within the communities we serve.
Thank you for your consideration at this special time of year.