Hunger is an issue in Canada, but it doesn’t have to be. In our country of 37 million people, every month, 850,000 people use a food bank and 36% of those users are children and youth. Food Banks Canada provides help for a network of more than 600 food banks and 3,000 agencies. We also provide research that we hope will inform and shape government policies.
A person or family is “food insecure” when they worry that they won’t be able to afford enough food, eat suboptimal food because they can’t afford better, or skip meals because they are unable to purchase enough food. Living with hunger means having to make impossible choices. No one should have to choose between rent or food.
Poverty Is a Root Cause of Hunger
Although statistics differ from region to region, yearly, the rate of food bank usage has remained stubbornly high in Canada. How can this be? The answer is poverty. The root cause of hunger is poverty, which hasn’t been fully addressed in our country. This is a tremendous disservice to the 1 in 6 people using food banks who are, or have recently been employed. It’s also turning our backs on the 36 percent of food bank users who are children and youth, all of whom need basic nutrition to be able to learn, grow, and live to their fullest potential.
Local Food Banks Are Innovating Change
Innovative, adaptive, and creative are three words you might not think of when describing a food bank. Food banks are probably more than what most people imagine them to be. Over 640 food banks in a network across the country provide more than just critical food to people facing urgent need. They are on the frontlines of understanding each client’s circumstances and their community’s cultural and regional preferences. Their innovative and adaptive efforts have helped source fresh produce for their clients through establishing large-scale donations from farmers, retailers, and local producers.
How We Help at Food Banks Canada
Our mission at Food Banks Canada is to provide national leadership to relieve hunger today and prevent hunger tomorrow in collaboration with the food bank network in Canada. We work collaboratively with a network of provincial associations and over 640 local food banks throughout the country, all with the common goal of eliminating hunger. Our vision of a Canada where no one goes hungry is an attainable one if all levels of government, business, and community work together to make it a priority.
Our work is focused on three core areas:
- Raising food and funds to share with the food bank network:
- Delivering programs and services to food banks to support their work and develop self-sufficiency in Canadians living with hunger; and
- Influencing policy through research, awareness raising and advocacy to find long term solutions to hunger and reduce the need for food banks.
We can make a difference together. Corporations and businesses can make a difference. Governments can make a difference. We can make a Canada and planet where no one goes hungry.
To learn more about Food Banks Canada, or to make a donation, please visit our website at https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/