Feb 6, 2024

Food insecurity roundtable with Minister Jenna Sudds 

On February 5, Neil Hetherington, CEO of Daily Bread Food Bank attended a roundtable discussion organized by the Honourable Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families Children and Social Development Canada. 

Alongside representatives from community food programs across Canada, Neil shared that food bank visits in Toronto have risen dramatically, with over 3 million food bank visits in 2023 alone.  

Joseph Murdoch-Flowers, co-Executive Director of the Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre in Iqaluit noted that during the pandemic, visits to their drop-in meal program declined due to income support programs like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Once those pandemic programs ended though, demand for food supports rose significantly. 

In Manitoba, Vince Barletta, CEO of Harvest Manitoba explained that climate change is impacting food access in remote communities who rely on ice roads in the winter.  

The challenges faced by food banks and community food programs across the country are each unique, but the common denominator is that there is growing food insecurity from coast to coast to coast. 

Daily Bread and the other roundtable participants were clear on the solutions needed to address food insecurity in Canada: 

  • Fully fund the Canada Disability Benefit 
  • Commit to setting a target to reduce food insecurity in Canada by 50% by 2030 
  • Introduce a Groceries & Essential Benefit to help Canadians afford the high cost of living 
  • Accelerate and expand automatic tax filing 
  • Invest in affordable housing 

We’re grateful for the opportunity to meet with Minister Sudds, and we look forward to ongoing collaboration with all levels of government to tackle food insecurity and poverty in our community. 

Click here to learn more about Daily Bread’s advocacy work.

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