As families struggle amid the continued economic downturn, a growing number of students are arriving to school hungry — with no breakfast, packed snacks or lunches — depending more than ever on social agencies for food donations.

Up to one-third of Calgary schools now receive “single-meal” supports from the Calgary Food Bank and other local agencies, getting either breakfast or lunches delivered to students whose parents can’t provide those meals at home.

Food insecurity is also spilling over into the weekend, when kids who are hungry at school are scavenging for food Saturday and Sunday because parents are either at work or there isn’t enough at home.

The highlight of this week’s visit to the food pantry was definitely the 14 lb turkey. I should be able to make that stretch a bit after the holidays.

Other than that, it was weirdly unholiday like. No typical holiday dinner trimmings, although we did bring home an apple pie. Our food pantry doesn’t do cookie or baked goods usually and if they do, they don’t have enough for everyone so you roll a die when you come in and if you roll whatever number they pick that day, you get to choose one thing. The last time we rolled and won was on husbeast’s birthday last January and yay, they had a whole cake!

Anyway, please don’t listen to the GOP when they say that people who have their food stamps cut will be fine because food pantries will take care of hungry people. That isn’t going to work. The end.

Smiths Falls councillors have rejected a proposal for the town to participate in a pilot project to test the concept of providing a guaranteed basic income in Ontario.

At a meeting of council’s Committee of the Whole Dec. 19, councillors were told that Mayor Shawn Pankow had written to the province in May suggesting that the town might be interested in participating in the project – a step which some councillors said they were unaware of and would not support.

“I think this is something that has merit,” said Councillor Lorraine Allen. “People who live in poverty and have mental illness of one kind of another are struggling.”

However, councillors John Maloney and Dawn Quinn said they viewed the project as throwing money at a problem that could better be addressed through education, and were not in favour of Smiths Falls being a site for the pilot project.