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Senator Mobina Jaffer

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Food Banks Are No Longer Just a Temporary Solution

Posted: 08/07/2013 12:06 pm

Food banks were originally intended to be a temporary measure, when the first Canadian food bank opened its doors in Edmonton in 1981. Instead, the need for food banks has continued over the years and, in fact, grown. Today, there are approximately 800 food banks in Canada and over 3,000 food programs.

In their 2012 Report, Food Banks Canada stated that in March 2012 alone, almost 900,000 Canadians turned to food banks. This is an increase of 2.4 per cent over 2011, and is 31 per cent higher than in 2008, before the recession began.

To put these figures in context, each month Canadian food banks provide approximately five days worth of food to a population equal to the province of New Brunswick. No one actually wants to use a food bank, but it is a harsh reality that many Canadians are forced to face every day.

Hunger is toxic for those living through it, and it is harmful to Canada as a whole. It reduces the economic contributions of individuals and increases costs related to health care and social services.

Canada needs to tackle hunger directly, rather than continue to pay out year after year for its long-term consequences. Hunger takes an enormous toll on the people who experience it, and Canadians should not have to rely on food banks in order to survive.

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  • British Columbia

    In British Columbia, a total of 96,150 people used a food bank in March 2012.

  • Alberta

    In Alberta, a total of 53,512 people used a food bank in March 2012.

  • Saskatchewan

    In Saskatchewan, a total of 24,621 people used a food bank in March 2012.

  • Manitoba

    In Manitoba, a total of 63,482 people used a food bank in March 2012.

  • Ontario

    In Ontario, a total of 412,998 people used a food bank in March 2012.

  • Quebec

    In Quebec, a total of 155,574 people used a food bank in March 2012.

  • New Brunswick

    In New Brunswick, a total of 19,524 people used a food bank in March 2012.

  • Nova Scotia

    In Nova Scotia, a total of 23,561 people used a food bank in March 2012.

  • Prince Edward Island

    In Prince Edward Island, a total of 3,406 people used a food bank in March 2012.

  • Newfoundland And Labrador

    In Newfoundland And Labrador, a total of 27,044 people used a food bank in March 2012.

  • Territories

    In the Territories of Canada, a total of 2,318 people used a food bank in March 2012.

 

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