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Food bank usage across Canada hit all-time high, report says

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A record-setting number of people across the country used food banks this year, with high inflation and low social assistance rates cited as key factors in the rise, according to a new report from Food Banks Canada.

The annual report released Thursday said there were nearly 1.5 million visits to food banks in March, 15 per cent more than the same month last year and 35 per cent more than in March 2019, before the pandemic hit.

Linda Godin, a 72-year-old living on a fixed income in Edmonton, is among those who have had to turn to food banks given the rising cost of living.

“It’s kind of hard sometimes to make ends meet,” she told CBC News. “I try to budget as much as I can but sometimes the budgeting doesn’t work.”

The Food Banks Canada report is based on data from more than 4,750 food banks and community organizations. The report said the skyrocketing cost of food and housing, as well as high inflation and low social assistance rates, have contributed to the rise in food bank usage.

“What we are seeing is the combination of long-term effects to a broken social safety net combined with the effects of inflation and high costs driving more people to use food banks than ever before in Canadian history,” said Kirstin Beardsley, the CEO of Food Banks Canada.

“Behind each one of these numbers is a person who is struggling too much to get by.”

 

‘This is the toughest time in our history’: Food Banks Canada CEO

1 hour ago

Duration 5:22

Food Banks Canada CEO Kirstin Beardsley says agencies across the country are seeing more people ‘who never thought they would be’ seeking food assistance.

Seniors, students relying more on food banks

Fixed-income groups like seniors and employed but low-income people such as students have been hit harder because their paycheques can’t keep up with inflation, Beardsley said.

“We have got people like seniors, who have been able to afford to live, suddenly having to turn to the food bank for the first time in their lives because it doesn’t all add up,” Beardsley said.

“And students are the same; often they are on a very limited income, and so when the costs go up, the way we have seen, you just can’t stretch the dollar.”

Ottawa Food Bank CEO Rachael Wilson said she’s seeing those same challenges playing out locally.

“Students are really struggling,” she told CBC News Network.  “When you look at the cost of education, as well as the cost of rent here in Ottawa — I know it’s similar in Toronto and across the country. The cost of food is incredibly challenging.”

The report also said that around 500,000 food bank clients — about one-third — are children, who make up around 20 per cent of the country’s total population.

A report released Thursday said there were nearly 1.5 million visits to food banks in March 2022, 15 per cent more than the same month a year earlier. Above, a volunteer places products on shelves at the Kanata Food Cupboard in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Struggle to meet demand

The surge in demand has made it difficult for some food banks to keep up. The food bank at Memorial University’s St. John’s campus, for example, had to close temporarily because it had nothing left in stock.

“The demand over the past few months has just been more than we could have possibly predicted,” said Matt Pike, the food bank’s volunteer co-ordinator.

Pike said use of the campus food bank in August — about 150 clients — usually increases by 50 per cent in September as students head back to class, but this year it doubled. He said the food bank served about 300 clients in September and 360 in October before it was forced to close.

Beardsley called the report a “wake-up call” that should trigger moves to tackle food insecurity and the issues that contribute to it.

The report suggests long-term and short-term solutions, including creating a universal minimum income floor for lower-income Canadians and providing more affordable and rent-assisted housing.

It also suggests reforms are needed to employment insurance and the Canada Workers Benefit programs.

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Clayton Kershaw excited to be returning to Dodgers’ rotation at a pivotal time

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw’s return to the rotation was once expected to be an added bonus as the Los Angeles Dodgers geared up for a postseason run.

It turns out, the longtime ace is coming back at a pivotal time.

When Kershaw takes the mound Thursday afternoon against the rival San Francisco Giants, manager Dave Roberts and Dodgers executives are hoping the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner can bring stability to a rotation beset by injuries most of the season.

“I’m excited to get back,” Kershaw said before the Dodgers faced the Giants on Wednesday night. ”It’s been a long time. Longest time I’ve ever spent not pitching in a big league game. Obviously, once you get back out there you’ve just got to perform.”

Kershaw’s return from offseason shoulder surgery ended up being on schedule. The left-hander said at the start of spring training that he thought July or August would be when he could come back.

He made three minor league rehab starts, but was shut down for a week after his first appearance on June 19 because of lingering soreness. Kershaw went four innings and threw 67 pitches (49 strikes) in his last rehab outing Friday for Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowing three runs and six hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

Roberts said the same guardrails would be in place as when Kershaw returned last season after missing 35 games due to soreness in his left shoulder.

He went five innings in his first two starts last August. He threw 67 pitches in the first outing and 71 on five days’ rest in the second.

“I think watching as far as stressful innings. If a pitch count kicks up in an inning or back-to-back high pitch counts. Not even overall total pitches,” Roberts said. “The most important part is getting him built up and ready for October.

“It has been a long process for him, and we’ve got coverage, so whatever happens, we’ll be prepared for that.”

The 36-year-old Kershaw has been adamant that he expects to return to his old form soon. Despite pitching with shoulder pain all last season, he went 13-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 131 2/3 innings over 24 starts.

“The road back, being able to get back, a lot of people spent a lot of time trying to help me,” Kershaw said Wednesday. “It means a lot to a lot of different people. That’s pretty humbling. Overall, definitely excited to get back.”

Who else will be with Kershaw in the rotation remains a work in progress.

Tyler Glasnow came off the injured list and started Wednesday night after missing two weeks due to back tightness. Glasnow and Gavin Stone are tied for the team lead in starts with 18.

James Paxton, who also started 18 games, was designated for assignment on Monday.

The Dodgers are still missing Walker Buehler (right hip inflammation) and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (right rotator cuff).

Buehler threw a bullpen Tuesday, with a minor league rehab stint likely on deck. Yamamoto is on a throwing program but has yet to begin working off a mound. He isn’t expected back until possibly late August.

Los Angeles has stayed atop the NL West thanks to the contribution of rookies. The Dodgers are 27-18 when a rookie starter is on the mound.

Rookie pitchers have started 45 games for the Dodgers this season and are 17-8 with a 3.00 ERA. Stone leads the team in wins with nine, while Landon Knack, Justin Wrobleski and River Ryan are expected to get more starts over the next month.

Even with 13 pitchers starting a game this season, the Dodgers’ rotation has the fifth-lowest ERA in the NL (3.91) and is holding opponents to a .234 batting average, second-best in the league.

While Kershaw didn’t know what to expect after having surgery for the first time in his baseball career, he is happy to be preparing for a start.

“There were a couple speed bumps that were part of the process. I’m thankful I went through it and now on the back side,” he said.

ROSTER MOVES

In addition to activating Glasnow, the Dodgers signed 34-year-old shortstop Nick Ahmed — a Gold Glove winner with Arizona in 2018 and 2019. Los Angeles infielder Miguel Rojas was placed on the 10-day injured list with right forearm tightness, retroactive to July 22. Knack was optioned to Triple-A and right-hander Ricky Vanasco was designated for assignment.

___

AP MLB:

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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Women’s Rights: How to Achieve What Women Want

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A strategy placing women out front and personal with those who deny their full rights and expectations.

1. The first stage will go something like this folks. Women will unite together with a universal message that is clear and understandable even for men.

Equality is a Human Right– A Sexual Right – A Socio-Political Necessity

Through public marches, protests and mass gatherings women will voice their displeasure on how they have been treated in the past, the present and how they fear for themselves and generations to come. Fear that the future has little to offer the girl of the next generation. Mass education schemes will be devised and presented to all people in all nations, rich or poor, white or non-white, to all genders alike.

2. The second stage will be initiated if men and their female allies do not respond to the above propaganda messages demanding equal rights, equal pay for similar jobs performed, and full educational opportunities no matter the nation, race or creed.

A Full Strike will be had in which all women will withhold their sexuality and affection from their partners, mostly men. The length of this strike and its nature in reality will depend upon the women’s culture and political circumstances. Full denial may be expressed in such a way that men will be denied the following…

No intimacy, no sexual contact with a woman
Usual housework will be curtailed and fall upon men.
The care of children will fall to their male parents and guardians

The LGBTQ Community will be asked to fully support this strike as partners in the struggle for Human and Women’s Rights advocates.

3. Should this strike be met with partner or legislative aggression a third stage will be initiated. Should men not respond favourably to the above-mentioned stages of Women’s struggle to be free of male dominance and control financially, economically, culturally, socially and politically this third extreme stage will be initiated.

All Women will take Religious Orders, pledging themselves to their deity through the vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. This action will threaten the very future of humanity. Through the vow of chastity, all women will be faithful to their deity by not having sex. The future of the human Race will be threatened by this action.

Could men be so ignorant and self-centred as to not realize that by their historic actions, women have been oppressed, sexually and financially used, denied of their constitutionally promised rights and established as second-class citizens in most nations globally?

Women must take up the mantel offered to them by Gandhi, Dr. King, Jesus and many other men who recognized the importance of womanhood. Women globally have only one ability, one tool of change available to them…to deny men. As men are denied the rights they have to women, women can deny themselves to these same men.

Martin Luther King Jr once said, “A right delayed is a right denied”. Women have delayed their taking action against the historic, cultural manly oppression they have experienced since time immemorial. The world exists in division, poverty and extreme financial distress. Women can offer the motherly comfort and care a world like our needs. Men have messed up our historic pathway towards peace and unity. Give women a chance.

Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario
skaszab@yahoo.ca

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Brunetta has goal, assist to lead Liga MX All-Stars over MLS All-Stars 4-1

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Juan Brunetta and Maximiliano Meza scored a minute apart in the second half, and Mexico’s Liga MX All-Stars beat the Major League Soccer All-Stars 4-1 in the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday night.

Brunetta (Tigres) scored in transition in the 68th minute to make it 3-1 and set up Meza (Monterrey) soon after before a record crowd of 20,931 at Lower.com Field.

It was the first MLS All-Star Game victory for Liga MX in three tries. The MLS All-Stars won in 2022 and won on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw a year earlier.

There were plenty of big names on the field, but the absence of the brightest and biggest one took some lustre out of the event. The league announced Monday that Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi was unable to play because of ligament damage in his right ankle.

The 2022 World Cup champion was injured while playing for Argentina in its victory over Colombia in the Copa America final on July 14.

Fans cheered when Columbus forwards combined to tie the match 1-all in the 17th minute, about a minute after Germán Berterame (Monterrey) scored for Mexico on a header.

From the left flank, Diego Rossi found Crew teammate Cucho Hernandez racing unmarked down the middle of the box for the equalizer.

Oussama Idrissi (Pachuca) made it 2-1 in the 41st with a strike from the top of the penalty area.

MLS had two chances to tie it in the 63rd when Riqui Puig (Los Angeles Galaxy) hit the crossbar and on the follow, Luca Orellano (Cincinnati) was denied on a goal line clearance by Unai Bilbao (Tijuana).

Minutes later, Liga MX put the game out of reach.

The Crew’s Wilfried Nancy coached the MLS All-Stars. He had five players from his squad, which won the 2023 MLS Cup. Hernandez and Rossi were joined by midfielder Darlington Nagbe and defenders Rudy Camacho and Steven Moreira.

AP soccer:

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