4 December 6, 2020 catholicregister.org
Christmas Drawing Contest 2020
The Catholic Register is conducting its 10th annual children's Christmas drawing contest. The top entry in each of three categories will receive a $75 Amazon gift certificate, plus a six-month subscription to our digital edition. The winning drawings will appear in The Register's Christmas edition, Dec. 20, and on The Register's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Rules The contest is open to children enrolled in Grades 1-8. One prize will be awarded to the top entry in each of these categories: Grades 7-8, Grades 4-6 and Grades 1-3. Entries must be original, in colour, drawn or painted on a page 8.5" x 11" or larger, and illustrate some aspect of the birth of Jesus at the first Christmas in Bethlehem. For electronic submissions: minimum resolution 300dpi, in jpeg or PDF format. A completed entry form is required for every entry. All entries must include the signature authorization of a parent or guardian. Entries become the property of The Catholic Register. Electronic submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Email entries must include: Child's Name, Address, Phone number, Grade, Age, and parent/guardian authorization.) Judges' decisions are final and entries may be published in The Catholic Register at the editor's sole discretion.
Submission deadline is noon Friday, December 11, 2020.
Name____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ City____________________________________________________Prov___________ Postal Code__________________Age__________ Phone number______________________________________Grade___________ School_______________________________________ The undersigned is a parent or guardian of the child identified on this entry form. I consent to my child's participation in this contest and I agree to abide by the Contest Rules. ________________________________________________________________________ Parent/Guardian Signature Please send entries to: Christmas Contest, The Catholic Register, 1155 Yonge St., Suite 401, Toronto, ON, M4T 1W2.
Poverty advocates fear debt crunch next as bills pile up
BY MICHAEL SWAN The Catholic Register
The stock market is up, real estate is soaring and yet food bank use is through the roof. Feed Ontario, the organiza- tion that represents Ontario food banks, has released its annual report showing that foot traffic at food banks was already increasing before COVID hit hard in March. Since then things have gotten worse: Between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020 Ontario food banks have handed out boxes or bags of groceries 3.3 million times, keeping 537,575 people fed - an increase of 5.3 per cent over the year previous and a 7.8-per-cent jump over two years; Preliminary numbers show a 10-per-cent increase in food bank use between September 2019 and September 2020; 81 per cent of food banks have started new, emergency support programs in response to COVID; Over 93 per cent of food bank users surveyed reported being in debt with credit cards, payday loans, friends and family as they try to cope with pandemic-era income losses. These numbers don't come as a surprise to people working on the poverty frontline. "We open up at 6 p.m. tonight," Our Lady of Lourdes food bank manager Lynne MacIntosh told The Catholic Register. "People are already there, 4:10 p.m. - people are lining up already. That's how bad it is. People are in dire need to line up almost two hours in advance." At the Knight's Table, a Knights of Columbus-supported food bank in Brampton, Ont., administrator of programs Joanne Hopkinson is signing up 20 new clients a day "Normally, we don't do that. Normally we will get that many in a week," Hopkinson said. As scary as the numbers may be, the longer term implica- tions of masses of debt piling up among low-income people scares Hopkinson more. "People are falling behind on their rent. They're falling behind on their bills," she said. "If you're not working, how do you catch up?" Forty-eight per cent of the food bank users Feed Ontario surveyed said they were worried about eviction or defaulting on their mortgage. Another 28 per cent said they would be unable to continue paying utilities within the next two to six months. "It will make it even more difficult for individuals to get back on their feet when COVID-19 is over," said the report. The emotional and family cost of all that financial stress is showing up at Catholic Family Services organizations. "We absolutely, and I think not surprisingly, are seeing people with increased stress, and some of that is financial," said Catholic Family Services of Durham executive director Elizabeth Pierce. "We tend to see people who are in the lower income, precarious income, no income bracket anyways We're just seeing an exacerbation of that." "It's absolutely fair to say that a huge number of our clients are coming in with financial stress," said Catholic Family Services of Toronto executive director Brenda Spitzer. Catholic Family Services aren't debt counsellors and don't collect numbers on the sources of stress in families they see, but counsel- lors say they are talking to people at the end of their rope financially. "In the best of times we would have financial stress, those kinds of aspects of life, showing up in the case load," Spitzer said. Though couples typically have multiple sources of stress when they come to CFS, Spitzer believes financial stress is driving record numbers trying to access the agency's services. "I would be shocked if it isn't that," she said. Pierce is also convinced that the repercussions will be long term. "It feels like a very logical con- clusion that people who are already unable to financially support themselves, that if this continues indefinitely and they're borrowing consistently, yeah they're going to get themselves into such a hole that they can't get out," she said. Other agencies in the region are also seeing the knock-on effects of COVID income loss, said Pierce - including women's shelters. "They're not just getting calls from women fleeing violent rela- tionships. They're getting a lot of calls around homelessness, because the impact of this is people unable to afford to live in their home."
Food bank use skyrockets during pandemic
Feed Ontario is reporting a sharp rise in food bank clients since the pandemic hit.
(Photo by Michael Swan)
Brenda SpitzerPrevious Page