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Research and Policy

Daily Bread Food Bank believes that research is critical to creating social change to reduce poverty. Because research is only meaningful if it is acted on and used, Daily Bread works to ensure that our findings are accessible and widely available to those who want to learn about the root causes of hunger and poverty in the GTA. Our research and publications are key tools in our work with government outreach and public education. Our publications represent work done by Daily Bread over the years to educate and engage the public and to push the government toward innovative and realistic policy solutions for hunger.

Filing Income Taxes and Accessing Food Banks: Are Ontarians With Low-Income Getting the Benefits They are Entitled To?
As the government of Ontario looks to reform its social assistance programs, there is an increasing push to look at an income security system that pays more benefits outside of social assistance. Such a system would help improve circumstances for all low income families, and help prevent people from falling into the poverty trap. This system would, at least in part, be delivered through the income tax system.

There are already new provincial tax credits which could provide people with payments even when there is no taxable income. The likelihood of people getting money that they are entitled to is dependent on their filing a tax return. Using results from the 2006 Who’s Hungry Survey of people accessing food banks, we explore the extent to which people experiencing poverty file their income taxes. We also see who might be missing out on possible benefits, both now and in the future.

View the full report.


Social Assistance Review Advisory Council Report

The Social Assistance Review Advisory Council (SARAC) was appointed by the Government of Ontario in 2009 and had a two-fold mandate:

  • Submit recommendations to the Minister of Community and Social Services regarding the scope and terms of reference for a review of Ontario’s social assistance system.
  • Advise the Minister of Community and Social Services regarding possible short-term changes to social assistance that would improve the program for beneficiaries without adding substantial costs.

The council was chaired by Daily Bread Executive Director Gail Nyberg, and included Public Affairs Director Michael Oliphant. The full report was released in June 2010 and has recommendations for conducting a review of Ontario’s income security system, focusing on six “strategies for reform”. The short-term changes were originally submitted in February 2010. Four of the thirteen recommendations were announced by Minister Meilluer alongside the provincial budget in March 2010.

Both reports can be downloaded below.

Ending hunger in our communities requires a strong commitment from governments at all levels to reduce poverty. Daily Bread develops innovative public policy proposals by building on our research fact base, and forming relationships with key stakeholders and policy experts. We believe that policy must be achievable, and therefore we work with an informed scan of the political environment. Most importantly, we incorporate the voice of people directly experiencing poverty in the policy development process. Daily Bread has a strong public policy track record that includes:

  • Helping low-income seniors access the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
  • Working with the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation to exempt Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) from Ontario’s social assistance asset rules
  • Achieving the new Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) for low-income families with children, working with other organizations such as MISWAA
  • Pressing the Ontario government to commit to a Poverty Reduction Strategy
  • Developing a Material Deprivation Index as a new measure of poverty in Ontario