Despite having resources and facilities, poverty remains an underlying issue in Brampton. However, it’s thanks to the unsung heroes working for the non-for-profit organization, Families of Virtue, that kids are not going to school hungry. These volunteers have dedicated their mornings to cooking meals for kids in low-income families since the initiative was first introduced six years ago. In spite of all efforts to better the community, the number of children dependent on this program has increased, while funding has not. 

Councillor Pat Fortini got involved with this organization five years ago and has not only been collecting funding from a wide range of sponsors but has also organized fundraisers and donated his own money to keep the program going. “When you think of a seven or eight-year-old kid going hungry to school, it kind of breaks your heart”, he explained. The councilor stressed the importance of having such a program for communities like Knightsbridge through encouraging not only the involvement of other community members, but also donors and city staff. “They all say they like to support but we don’t just want the support, we need money. We need money to feed them,” he emphasized. 

The program estimates that they may have enough funding until next September, however with an increased number of children now relying on Families of Virtue, they’re faced with higher costs and a lack of funds to continue this initiative. This not only hurts the community but jeopardizes the education and welfare of the children in this neighborhood. “Going hungry to school stops your education, stops your studies, you get tired. You know what, at least we can put something in their stomach before they go to school in the morning”, the counselor stated. Only through working together as a community, can initiatives such as this make a difference for the youth of today and Brampton’s future tomorrow. 

To donate, contact the organization at familiesofvirtue@gmail.com.  

Edited by: Hiral Patel

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