The United Nations has reported that more women than men live in absolute poverty. To some, this may be a surprise; unfortunately, it is a reality. The Canadian Women’s Foundation notes that women are more likely to spend more time doing unpaid work (4.2 hours compared to 2.2 hours for men), leaving them less time for paid work. There is also a gender wage gap that results in women earning only 71 cent for every dollar earned by males. While it may not seem like much at first glance, when one considers the hourly wage, the result is a huge disparity when comparing earnings on a yearly basis.
Many women face familial responsibilities and a lower wage which results in their family living in poverty. The effects of poverty on their children’s lives are devastating and often poverty becomes a vicious cycle. The Helping Hampers campaign is designed to interrupt and help break that cycle of poverty. Partnering with schools, community groups and businesses, GEOMEER provides hampers to families of food, toiletries, cleaning products, etc. that last for several months. The hampers are worth $2,000 and their purpose is to allow families some “breathing room” so they can use their resources for other necessities. Many of the families we support have a single parent as the wage earner and even those with two parents often cannot earn enough to pull themselves out of poverty.
Our hampers provide relief for a period of time that is long enough to make a true difference in families’ lives. We believe that the project works because it is done at the local level – schools and groups are paired with families in their communities.
If you want to support GEOMEER’s efforts to make a lasting difference in the lives of families across Edmonton, Calgary, and rural Alberta please find your way to the Donate Now tab on our website.
We hope that this blog challenges you to think about one of the many diverse factors that affects families living in poverty. Together let’s make a change in our communities.
Because community matters,