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Charitable food assistance is incapable of improving households' food security because it does nothing to address the root cause of the problem.
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The local food movement, which has been going strong for many years, has a number of positive effects for our local farmers and communities.
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Change can only come if we, as a province, work together to advocate for long-term change and the solutions that will eliminate both hunger and poverty.
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Canada's poorest communities are least able to address the effects of poverty with a charitable response. As the rate of poverty in a given community increases, the number of donors available to support charitable efforts - and the ability of charities to address the effects of poverty - decreases.
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It's not just giving at the door.
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Food banks see clients facing these challenges every day, and have responded with innovative programming that not only increases access to healthy food, but turns it into an opportunity to build community. Within the OAFB network, there are food banks in all corners of the province that offer innovative, healthy food options to clients. Here are just a few.
In the 2016 HungerCount report, Food Banks Canada called on the federal government to implement a poverty reduction strategy no later than the fall of 2017. Canadians who are struggling with food insecurity cannot wait years for the federal government to act. They need help now, today.
Supermarkets in the province have started diverting unsold but edible food to food banks for distribution to the hungry.
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"People tend to want to give us a can of soup and box of Kraft Dinner, which is fine, but we're trying to also source higher-quality nutritional value food."
We didn't want charity, especially when we needed it the most. Yet it was the blind kindness of strangers that made the toughest of times a little less daunting. A full belly was one of our first steps towards a fuller life. What was once a source of shame for my family is now an important part of our story.
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Conservative leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch started doing crazy things like praising Donald Trump, or threatening to dismantle the CBC, or talking about "Canadian values" in a way that everyone recognized as overtly racist and xenophobic. That's not what our community is about. That's not who we are.
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How many of us have seen food banks open their doors in our home towns? The reasons may differ by region -- the decline of manufacturing in Ontario and Quebec, fisheries in Atlantic Canada, farming in the prairies, forestry in the northwest -- but the overall reality is similar across the country. The economic landscape is fundamentally changed.
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No one wants quality, safe food to be wasted. A greater focus on food rescue efforts can increase the amount of all types of foods, and especially desirable perishable products, to ensure all families can put a wholesome meal on the table.
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The report recommends the Liberal government among other things fast track a poverty reduction strategy and revamp the welfare system in Canada.
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Last week, Finance Minister Bill Morneau warned young Canadians that they should get used to what is known as "job churn" -- short-term employment, with many career changes. Recent reports seem to be supporting his claims.
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Looking at the food system in Canada is a study in contrasts. On one hand, one in eight Canadian families struggle to put food on the table, and over 800,000 people visit a food bank each month. On the other hand, we waste $31 billion in food each year, or a third of what we produce. How can a country with so much abundance also have such great need? As with any problem that is so enormous in scale, the reasons are complex, the impacts are wide-ranging, and the solutions are far from easy.
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While the old adage tells us to waste not and want not, all too often surplus food ends up uneaten. Canada's mounting amount of wasted food is costing consumers and cutting into the country's overall economy output. Canada's economy is losing the equivalent of two per cent of its entire GDP each year to food waste.
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Economically, consumers and the private sector will benefit significantly from efforts to tackle food waste. For consumers, reducing food waste could help them save hundreds of dollars. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians waste 183 kg (just over 403 lbs) a year. This represents the equivalent of throwing $771 per year per consumer in the trash. In other words, over 15 per cent of a household's grocery cart ends up in the garbage without being consumed, which is approximately $50/week per family. Preventing food waste could also cut food costs by 10 per cent or more.... Socially, while food waste and food insecurity are not intimately linked, it is nonetheless absurd to waste so much food at time when thousands of people throughout the country are affected by food insecurity.
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As Canadians have been doing for more than three decades, refugees from Syria and many other countries turn to our nation's food banks, because government supports for the most vulnerable don't even provide enough money to cover the most basic necessities.
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Summertime exacerbates an issue that is already a big problem for families throughout the rest of the year. Ontario has the most expensive daycare rates in the country, with the average monthly fee for infants in Ontario coming in at $1,152 per month, or $13,824 a year. In Toronto, the annual cost is closer to $20,600.
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While their friends look forward to camp, swimming, vacations and more, many kids and parents who rely on school breakfast programs face uncertainty. Without enough to eat at home, precious summer time memories that play such an important part in childhood are just out of reach.
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It seems like a marriage made in heaven. Eliminate the vast amount of food waste in our society by giving it to the poor and hungry. No more hunger. No more waste. At least that's what advocates for food-waste-to-the-poor schemes will have us believe. Here at home, MP Ruth-Ellen Brosseau's private member's bill, C-231, Fight Against Food Waste Act, will continue being debated in the House of Commons in the coming weeks. But this is a relationship doomed before it even begins.
Next week is Local Food Week in Ontario, a celebration of the rich agricultural bounty we're so lucky to have access to in this province. The local food movement has been all the rage for the past few years, and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Grocery stores highlight local produce when it's in season, innumerable "farm to table" restaurants have popped up, and farmers markets continue to grow in popularity.
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As a society, we established a system of social welfare programs because we wanted to take better care of each other and ensure that everyone had access to basic needs, even during hard times. It was an effort to get a little bit closer to that perfect world. On Monday, a new report was released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives that demonstrates the gap between where we currently are and our vision of where we'd like to be.
In the territories, nearly one in five households has trouble getting enough food to eat. In Nunavut, this figure rises to half of all households -- a truly staggering number. This situation is the result of many factors, including the high cost of food and very high rates of poverty, particularly within indigenous communities. The effects of the residential school trauma, decreasing access to traditional foods, and the high cost of hunting add complexity to the problem.
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Starbucks says it will use refrigerated vans to pick up unsold food from its 7,600 U.S. company-operated stores and distribute it through food banks.
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As the job market continues to contort and contract through the shifting of jobs, wages, and stability -- there is a growing voice, a growing question -- how do we make sure people across this province have the means to eat, to live, to thrive? How can we ensure that Ontarians are able to meet their most basic needs?
What we have done for far too long is simply not working. Even with all the social supports in place, the resulting income is often only enough to maintain a family in poverty. At their worst, existing policies and programs actually entrap people in poverty. This is why we need a new way. A basic income would work as a tax credit administered through the taxation system similar to the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors. If someone earns less or has less than the poverty line, they would simply be topped up to a point above the poverty line.
A Dollarama in Saint-Léonard recently began destroying products before placing them in its dumpster.
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TORONTO — Rising grocery prices in Canada have renewed calls for a national food policy as concerns over the number of Canadians living in so-called food-insecure households grows. Some four million C...
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Food bank use currently hovering at record levels. Food Banks Canada's HungerCount report shows that the food bank network acts as an unofficial Canadian safety net, trying to fill the gaps left by low-wage jobs and radically inadequate provincial social assistance programs.
Canada's largest city has a world-class problem with poverty, and yet we hope that maybe, just maybe, it will go away. Rest assured it's not. Far from an old-school approach to budgeting, we need leadership and new approaches to revenue generation unless we want to be paying for the growing costs of poverty for years to come.