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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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Summertime brings its own set of additional pressures that make life that much harder for families who are having a tough time making ends meet.
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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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Canadians have been very clear. We believe the growing inequality in our country is unacceptable. Three out of four people feel the issue is getting worse and believe the government should be doing more to address it. So where's the government action?
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It's not just giving at the door.
About 80 percent of this food loss happens during harvesting and storage. And studies across most African countries show that women provide the majority of the labour for harvesting and storage. This is where investing in women can make a difference.
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For the last 40 years, we've been sold a lie about how to solve hunger. It's the kind of deception that sounds so right, so convincing, that we don't even ask questions. We've been told that handing out food to poor, struggling people will fill their need and end their hunger. And yet nothing could be further from the truth.
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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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Nearly half have changed shopping habits due to prices.
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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.
It's been far too long since social assistance rates have been viewed through the lens of whether anyone can actually survive with dignity on them. Under Mike Harris's "Common Sense Revolution," social assistance rates were slashed by 21.6 per cent based on no criteria other than that government should spend less, that people deserved less, and that this approach would resonate with the public.
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October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. It is to recognize all children, in rich countries as well as in poor, who are left behind because their families lack income and their societies fail to reach them with the services they need. It's time to end child poverty in Canada. It's entirely possible and there are promising steps.
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Hunger Awareness Week invites us to not only talk about the problem of hunger in Canada, but to think about how we can address it. At the Ontario Association of Food Banks, our long-term vision has always been a hunger-free Ontario. Next summer, this dream may inch a little closer to becoming a reality.
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In 2017, the Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) will turn 25 years old. We are deeply proud of the role our network has played over the past quarter century to support communities across Ontario. Food banks have grown from being a resource for emergency food support to multi-service centres that offer innovative programs to help clients move beyond hard times.
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Canada is experiencing a demographic shift. Baby boomers, currently the largest generation, are rapidly reaching retirement age. By 2021, 17.8 per cent of the total Canadian population will be over 65 - that's nearly seven million people. By 2041, that number is expected to jump to 9.7 million, or 22.6 per cent.
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In 2015, Ontario saw a 35% jump in the number of senior citizens visiting food banks. It's a trend Second Harvest sees daily on its delivery routes. Last year, 70% of Second Harvest's agency partners noted that they serve seniors. Some agency partners, like Loyola Arrupe Centre for Seniors (LACS), are built specifically around servicing the needs of this growing and vulnerable population.
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In Canada, we waste 40 per cent of our food every year, which equals $31 billion worth or about $864 per person. The "true cost," however, is as much as $107 billion based on the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimate that the value of food waste only represents 29 per cent of the true cost if one includes environmental and social impact. When you look at global food waste these numbers jump to an even more mind-boggling US$1 trillion as 30 per cent of all food produced on this planet goes uneaten while 800 million people go hungry.
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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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The term "food desert" describes geographic areas with limited access to healthy food because the distance to the nearest supermarket is in excess of one km. Living far from healthier options forces many Canadians to fall back on higher priced convenience stores or to find ways to get to food stores elsewhere. Both options are costly.
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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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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.
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Food insecurity -- the inability to afford sufficient food because of inadequate income -- is a health equity issue. It affects individuals' health in the short term but has long-term impacts: children from food insecure households are more likely to have poor physical and mental health, are more likely to go to the hospital, and have poorer academic performance and cognitive outcomes in later life.
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There has been increasing interest in the use of a sugar-sweetened beverage tax to curb the burden of obesity in Canada -- call it a 'pop tax' if you like. A recent Senate report on obesity in Canada recommends assessing the possibility of a sugar-sweetened beverage tax and points to the high rates of taxation on tobacco products as a successful example worth imitating. But have taxes on tobacco products been as successful as is often claimed?
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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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The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) reports that rates of diabetes are disproportionately higher among low-income individuals and First Nations people, two demographics that also face high rates of food insecurity. It's easy to tell someone to "just eat healthier," but it is a lot more difficult to actually put into practice, especially if you can't afford it.
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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?
Single Ontarians on social assistance have just over $600/month to cover all their living expenses, including rent and food -- a pittance that causes many to have to go without food, or to access a food bank or meal program. People in low-paying jobs with no benefits struggle too.
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.
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Food insecurity, also known as 'food poverty,' can cause significant anxiety over diminishing household food supplies and result in individuals modifying their eating patterns -- adults skipping meals so children can eat or sacrificing quality food choices for cheaper, less healthy options, for example.
Getting food into Pikangikum has a sense of urgency, as there is a narrow window of time when the RFDA is able to safely deliver food to the community before the winter freeze sets in. Both the Health Centre and School Meal Program are desperately in need of food, and cannot wait an additional two months until the ice roads fully form.