If the United Way of Toronto fails to make its 2008 fundraising goal it will mean less food, shelter and other crucial services for the city’s needy, warn local social agencies.

“We have a social safety net in the city and it’s made up of community agencies,” said Debbie Field, executive director of FoodShare Toronto. “If it wasn’t for the United Way, we couldn’t survive.”

The organization is $4 million shy of its $110 million goal with two weeks remaining in its campaign, which was launched in September.

“This is one of the toughest campaigns that we have ever experienced,” United Way president and CEO Frances Lankin said yesterday.

“I don’t think any of us knew how difficult it would be when we set our goal.”
Lankin said the $110 million goal, $2 million more than 2007’s total, reflects the community’s growing needs.