Anti-Hunger Coalition Timmins is getting an earlier start on its major annual fundraiser. The hope is it will result in raising more money towards easing food insecurity.

It kicked off The Coldest Night of the Year, Thursday night at Full Beard Brewing.

Executive director Jennifer Vachon is hoping to better last year’s $32,000 by $8,000.

“We do have data provided by the Porcupine Health Unit that does show that compared to the rest of Ontario, prices of healthy foods are more expensive up here,” says Vachon.  “So there definitely is a lot of barriers up here in terms of access to healthy food.”

(Bob McIntyre, staff)

The Coldest Night of the Year walk is set for Saturday, February 22nd.  Vachon is looking for volunteers to help run the event, and individuals and teams to take the two-, five- or ten-kilometre walk.

She also notes that a report this week indicates that even people with full-time employment are using food banks, pointing to gaps in access.

“That’s really what Anti Hunger Coalition Timmins is all about, reducing those gaps in terms of access,” Vachon remarks. “Our programs are universal.  They’re open to absolutely anybody and we know that people are having a tough time making ends meet and hopefully through our gardening, our cooking, our good food box programs, we’re able to make accessing food even a bit easier for people in our community.”