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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.
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.