The pandemic has caused economic hardship in our communities, leading many to turn to food banks for the first time. Among new clients, 76% reported that they began accessing the food bank because of job loss and reduced hours as a result COVID-19 global pandemic.
But food insecurity is not just a COVID-19 issue. Before the pandemic, food bank visits were already rising due to deepening poverty and inequality in our communities. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that together we can create impactful change. We can act now to prevent the COVID-19 crisis from increasing long-term food insecurity.
In June, the provincial legislature typically adjourns for the summer and MPPs (your provincial elected representatives) return to their home ridings. This is the perfect opportunity to have your voice heard!
The provincial government is responsible for things like: the public school system, social assistance, hospitals, and labour laws. Elected representatives depend on public support and often make decisions based on what their constituents are saying. There are many ways you can connect with your MPP over the summer months:
- Start a local petition to submit to your MPP’s office: choose an issue around food insecurity or poverty that has impacted your community and get your neighbours involved in spreading the word. Get as many people as possible to sign the petition (set a goal) and then submit it to your MPP. Usually MPPs make time to engage the community when they hear many of their constituents are concerned about a particular issue.
- Call their office: you may have to leave a message, so make sure you clearly say your name and mention you are a resident of their riding, give a brief description of your concerns and wait to hear back.
- Send an email: let them know you are a resident of their riding and you want to discuss their plans for creating long-term solutions to eliminate poverty and food insecurity in your community.
How to find your MPP:
- Find out your riding and MPP’s contact information by entering your postal code here.
- If you already know your riding or MPP’s name, you can search for their contact information here.
To tackle food insecurity, we need government to commit to strong poverty reduction targets so that every person in the community can afford basic necessities, like food and housing.
Together, we can show the power of community by advocating for change.