Food Banks Across the Country Recommend Increased Investment in Affordable Housing
TORONTO, Oct. 19 - A recent poll shows that food banks overwhelmingly support investment in affordable housing as the most effective way to reduce hunger and food bank use in their communities.
"Every day, food banks across the country see people coming to them for help because of the high cost of housing," said Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director of Food Banks Canada. "Too many people are making choices no Canadian should have to make, cutting back on the quality and amount of food they eat so that they can pay the rent - and accessing food banks to try to fill the gap."
In 2009, nearly 800,000 people per month were assisted by a food bank in Canada. The majority of assisted households (86%) are renters, with 59% paying market rent and 27% living in subsidized housing. Five percent are homeless - living temporarily with family or friends, in emergency shelters, or on the street.
"Food Banks Canada strongly supports increased investment in affordable housing, guided by a pan-Canadian housing strategy, at both the federal and provincial levels of government," said Schmidt. "This is smart policy that builds Canada's infrastructure, creates jobs, and will increase the quality of life of those who are able to benefit."
More than 900 food banks, soup kitchens and other food assistance programs in every province participated in the poll, conducted by Food Banks Canada through its annual HungerCount survey. This is the third consecutive year that food banks have chosen increased investment in affordable housing as the most important step governments can take to reduce hunger and food bank use in Canada.
For full results of the poll, please visit http://www.foodbankscanada.ca/main2.cfm?id=10718677-B6A7-8AA0-6339EDF590F6155D.
About Food Banks Canada
Food Banks Canada is the national charitable organization representing the food bank community across Canada. Our Members, Affiliate Member food banks, and their respective agencies serve approximately 85% of people accessing emergency food programs nationwide. We continue to work to find short term and long term solutions for the close to 800,000 hungry Canadians who are assisted by a food bank every month.