Feb 7, 2023

The Truth Behind These 3 Food Bank Myths

Food is a human right, and no one should face barriers to accessing the food they need.

At Daily Bread Food Bank, we believe that every person should be able to live a life of dignity and realize their right to food. Our Rights-Based Approach (RBA) to food access encourages individuals to claim their rights, and places responsibility on government, the duty-bearers, to meet their obligations to those individuals.

And while we advocate for solutions to end poverty, our network of food programs across the city is here to meet the emergency food needs of the city today. In our day-to-day work, we come across deeply held myths and misconceptions about food banks, and today we will dispel some of these.

Myth #1

Only people who do not have jobs access food banks.

The impact of inflation and rising cost of living means that more and more, people across the city are struggling to make ends meet. According to our 2022 Who’s Hungry report, 33% of food bank clients reported employment was their main source of income — double the percentage reported in 2021. Almost half (48%) of clients said that someone in their household works either part-time or full-time. Even more disconcerting is the fact that among food bank clients reporting employment income, 80% are living in deep poverty.  

Myth #2

Food banks only provide canned goods and processed food.

As part of our RBA commitments, we focus on providing dignified, low-barrier access to nutritious food and variety at all programs.

Last year, we launched a staples program based on updated recommendations from Canada’s Food Guide (2019). This program ensures that essential food items like eggs, lean meats, fresh produce, lentils and rice — foods our clients request the most — are always available. In fact, 67% of the food provided by Daily Bread to its member agencies is fresh. 

Over the past few months, we have also expanded protein offerings to food programs and introduced a wider variety of locally sourced meats like ground beef, as well as healthy fish, like basa and tilapia.

As part of our Farm to Food Bank Program, we also work directly with 18 farm partners across the province who provide us with over 50 types of seasonal fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, squash and apples.

Myth #3

People take advantage of the food bank system.

After rent and utilities, food bank clients have a median $8.01 left per person, per day to pay for food and all other essentials. Families and individuals accessing our emergency food services are here because they need support to make ends meet…to make it through the week, or month. To help feed their families.

We are committed to providing respectful and dignified service at all food programs. We do not require documentation and will facilitate food access to anyone who needs it, regardless of circumstance. We foster a welcome and inclusive environment for all.  

Daily Bread is committed to providing low-barrier service and equitable access to food. Anyone who walks through our doors is here because they need support.

If you are interested in supporting Daily Bread’s vital food programs like the staples program, please donate today.

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