The latest report from Campaign 2000 found that nearly 1 in 5 children were living in poverty in Canada, and at the current rate of progress, it will take 54 years to eliminate child poverty.
Close to 1 in 3 Toronto food bank clients are children and youth. Parents often report reducing their own food intake to prevent their children from going hungry. According to our Who’s Hungry 2021 report, 16% of survey respondents said their children go hungry at least once a week or more.
Families are facing an enormous amount of financial pressure, and the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed people already living on the margins further into poverty. This year alone, we saw 1.45 million visits to Toronto food banks, the largest ever recorded in the city’s history.
During the pandemic, the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) amount was raised in order to help low-income families with expenses related to raising children. While the CCB has played an important role in reducing poverty and severe food insecurity, more needs to be done to address child hunger.
Lack of affordable and accessible childcare also puts low-income families―particularly single parents, most of which are women―at a disadvantage. Closing the gender employment and pay gap, which was worsened due to the pandemic, would be essential in helping to lift families and children out of poverty. Providing more support and opportunities to working families will set their children up for better outcomes as they become adults. Right now, the provincial and federal government are negotiating the details of a funding agreement that would provide significant investments toward reducing the cost of childcare in Ontario. This will directly support poverty reduction efforts, and it is critical that Ontario signs on to the national childcare agreement.
We encourage you to read Campaign 2000’s report titled No One Left Behind: Strategies for an Inclusive Recovery to learn more about child poverty and recommendations to the government that would lead families out of deep poverty.
Our Who’s Hungry 2021 report also highlights recommendations to build more resilient communities.
Your voice matters. Help us send a clear message to Ontario party leaders by signing our petition that asks for a commitment to reducing poverty by 50% by 2030.