Food Insecurity

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Food Banks Can't Do It Alone

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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Food Alone Won't Solve Hunger

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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Ontario Needs A New Common-Sense Approach To Social Assistance

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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It's Time To End Child Poverty In Canada

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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Senior Citizens Are The Unseen Face Of Hunger

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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Help Us End Food Waste In Canada Now

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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How Do We Solve Canada's $31-Billion Food Waste Problem?

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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Canada Is Plagued By 'Food Mirages'

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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Stop Trying To Solve Hunger With Corporate Food Waste

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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Toronto's Food Insecurity Can't Be Fixed By Charity

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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A Soda Tax Will Only Hurt The People It's Meant To Help

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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Northern Hunger Won't Disappear With The Snow

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.