Province moving grocery voucher money from Toronto to Burlington – not quite enough to fill a Brink’s truck.

By Staff


January 7, 2014

To assist with the financial burden of the ice storm on those with limited incomes, the Province of Ontario has given Halton Region a limited number of grocery vouchers. Although many people lost food and incurred costs from the storm, the vouchers will only be available to Halton residents who lost power for 48 hours or more and are facing financial hardship.

Line ups in Toronto for grocery vouchers were very long – but at least they were indoors and didn’t have to travel to some industrial part of the city to get the help they needed.

Beginning Wednesday, January 8, the vouchers will be available at selected food banks throughout Halton Region until supplies are exhausted. Each food bank location will use their established screening criteria to assess financial need. Individuals must also bring proof of address.

In Burlington the location is: Salvation Army, Burlington Family and Community Services,  5040 Mainway, Unit 9, Burlington.  Telephone number there is 905-637-3893
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How much are the vouchers? Families can get $100; Individuals can get $50

The location for the distribution of these vouchers has got to be one of the most difficult to get to.  With the weather as cold as it is – it seems almost cruel to send people that far for a food voucher.  For those on assistance a car may not be one of the things they own.  Bus route 81 will get you there – but it will be cold and there is no service from 9:30 to 3:00 pm.

A better alternative is Route 80 across Harvester and then a transfer to route 83 – the service is better.  Doug Brown, one of Burlington’s transit advocates points out that for those who don’t have a car the $6.50 cash fare for a return trip – just to get $50 for a single person isn’t really worth the effort.

This effort on the part of social services from the Region looks to be something done quickly and done poorly.

The weather is so cold that the Region has suspended the pick-up of brush from road sides

Call your city council member and ask him to arrange a ride for you.

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4 comments to Province moving grocery voucher money from Toronto to Burlington – not quite enough to fill a Brink’s truck.

  • Joan Turbitt

    Reimbursement sent to affected individuals of low income, such as seniors and disabled persons would have been a much better idea. Full freezers can apply to Refrigerator freezers for single persons. Some have the small freezer as well. Many apartments do not have balconies therefore no place to put food outside. Lower balconies runs the risk of maurading animals racoons etc. Not everyone owns racoon proof containers.

    Finally, not Everyone smokes and or drinks. And what if they did? Lost food is lost food on a seniors budget.
    Why would you deny a senior or disabled person the right to have a drink of beer now and then or a cigarette although not good for one’s health something many people still do and irrelevant when it comes to the loss of food when all hydro is off. Really, I hope your grandmother or mother sees this.

    • Vincenzo Luigano

      You force me to share a personal story. I remember with vivid clarity one particular important moment in my life. I remember this image in my head because I have replayed it in my mind on a constant basis ever since I was about 5 years of age.

      I lived in a house on Mayflower Avenue at the time, not far from Ivor Wynne Stadium, in Hamilton. I was looking towards the rear of the house and saw my father swinging a standard broom at a cat to get him away from a bag of sausage meat hanging outside the kitchen window. I did not know different at the time. We had no fridge. However, we ultimately got a (used) fridge and some furniture and clothes from the Salvation Army across the street from what is now the Copps Coliseum. I remember the fridge also; it was white, had a pull handle, and needed to be defrosted often.

      As a reminder of those days, I placed a side table in one of my son’s rooms, next to his bed, to remind the family of what those days were like. I cherish that piece of furniture which is made up of a mixed selection of wood pieces likely put together by a farmer somewhere from scrap pieces of wood; I would not trade this piece of furniture for the grand piano currently sitting in my living room.

      I can tell you that I now have four fridges in my house, one is in the pool cabana which is used to cool beer in the summer and provide ice cream for children when they come and play in my backyard oasis. Another fridge cools my wine selection next to my sixty inch big screen television and entertainment centre located in my basement recreation room. The other fridges hold my food for usual consumption purposes.

      My mother clearly recalls the days of my father swatting away the neighbour’s cat from the bag holding our food. There were no gift cards in the seventies. We actually enjoy the story these days; it is a good story.

      My grandmother passed away a long time ago; she had no internet, tv, radio, fridge or freezer. The floor in the kitchen was dirt, and the bathroom was outside, both, winter and summer. My grandmother also had no budget, nor a pension, nor a sense of entitlement. I never knew my grand parents; I wish I had, and I wish they got the opportunity to come and grab a beer from my fridge in my backyard pool cabana, and maybe even have a smoke; whether good or bad for one’s health is irrelevant – I agree with you.

      But, you have to agree with me now; Life is not so bad in Burlington.

  • Vincenzo Luigano

    People should have placed food outside where the temperature was colder than in a freezer; no excuse for food going bad. And people in genuine need would likely not have a freezer full of food in any event.

    However, if we are going to go down this path, then cheques, not gift cards, should be sent directly to everybody affected; lot easier and a lot safer. The Region and City have lists of those who are most vulnerable, dont they? If not, then that would be a good idea also.

    Oh yeah, and don’t forget the smokes and beer.

  • Joan Turbitt

    I am deeply saddened to hear that the most vulnerable of those who were without heat and hydro senior and disabled persons most of whom do not have a car must take public transit in this frigid weather risking frost bite which people are being warned against just to get 50.00 voucher for one person. As you point out the December cheques came earlier than usual and people will have stocked up their freezers and will have lost it all. Handi van requires one week notice and even if these individuals had one week notice when would they tell the hv to pick them up? How long will they have to stand in a line? Will it be in or outside? How long will they then wait for a return bus? Will they still be able to get to a grocery store? Will they have the price of extra bus trips, will they have the endurance to shop and then go to yet another bus stop most often outside with no shelters or benches and wait for however long and will they be able to carry enough groceries or have to repeat the trip to the grocery store?
    I cannot believe that this agency could not have thought to use the OW office or some vacant room there on Elizabeth st. where these very deserving human beings could be sheltered from the warmth and perhaps, even though it require some extra thought, have chairs to sit on. As well the bus terminal is right across the street.
    I am afraid that too many of those most in need of this vital service will not receive it, too often the case.
    What is the matter with everybody?
    Happy New Year to you too.