May 9, 2023

Is the Social Safety Net Being Outsourced to Food Banks?

Food bank usage is higher than it has ever been in our 40-year history. People with employment, social-assistance recipients, newcomers, young families and seniors are all turning to food banks in larger numbers than we’ve ever seen.

This food insecurity crisis begs the question: Is the social safety net being outsourced to charities?

Talia Bronstein, Daily Bread’s VP of Research and Advocacy, delved into this topic on TVO’s The Agenda on May 8 alongside Steve Paikin and three other industry leaders.

Highlights of their conversation included:

  • What are the root causes behind the recent skyrocketing increase in food bank usage in Toronto and beyond? Are the numbers surprising to the Daily Bread Food Bank network? (4:02)
  • 33% of Toronto food bank clients reported employment as their primary source of income last year, compared to 16% in 2021. Why are more people with employment turning to food banks? (5:12)
  • The provincial government increased ODSP rates by 5% and indexed them to inflation in 2022. Is this enough? What needs to change to alleviate food insecurity? (24:01)
  • We know the solutions — why aren’t we implementing them? (30:04)

Click any of the timestamps to see that segment or watch the entire dialogue below.

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