Food insecurity in Canada
Do you know what the face of hunger looks like?
· 32% of the people requiring food assistance are children.**
· 25% of food bank users are immigrants.**
· 79,000 people each month access a food bank for the first time.*
· Almost 40% of food bank clients have a diploma, degree or higher.**
· On average, people who use food assistance programs do so for two years.**
*According to Food Banks Canada's HungerCount 2015 report.
1 in 6 Canadian Children are affected by food insecurity.
*Source: Maple Leaf foods
Over the past couple of years I have learned a lot about Food Insecurity in Toronto and around the world because of my blog and in my work as an Ambassador for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I got involved to see if I could do something to help people learn about their food and in the process I learned about the food insecurity issue from attending local charitable events that raise funds for programs like the Stop Community Food Program, who have various food training programs and they provide food to local communities in need. This past October a group of people and I toured a couple of local schools and we learned about the Feed Tomorrow program that has school programs that provide food to school children who are experiencing hunger. The older students volunteer to assist the program.
Second Harvest is another great non-profit that has great initiatives that many local restaurants in the city support by donating food. And don't forget the food banks, one of the largest being the Daily Bread Food Bank who work tirelessly to get food and cash donations to provide food for people on various forms of assistance.
Is food a Human Right?
While I am not a big fan of giving street people spare change because I don't believe it helps them in the long run, but I do believe there are a lot of people that need help.
Food Insecurity is a bigger problem than you think.
If you think about the fact that the minimum wage is under $12 and the cost of living in Toronto for just a bachelor apartment starts at $900 if you are lucky, there isn't much left for enough food after you pay your necessities but isn't food a necessity too?
If you are single on Ontario Works assistance you only get $681 dollars a month. They believe you should spend $200 a month from that for food. Good luck with that working out.
Disability is somewhere around $900 a month I believe.
In other words if you get sick or lose your job you have a good chance of going hungry at some point unless you have some other assistance.
As a regular contributor to Gastropost (The National Post's) community I am happy to support a new partnership campaign between Gastropost and Maple Leaf Foods.
Maple Leaf Foods will provide a $10,000.00 donation.
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This blog post was promoted by Gastropost + Maple Leaf Foods but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience.