During COVID-19, we have been fortunate to see an outpouring of support from donors and volunteers, as well as support from the wider sector in community and government. As we reopen the economy, it is critical that the social solidarity and problem-solving we have experienced carry forward to be at the core of our recovery.
Risks will continue to be disproportionately felt—and sacrifices made—by our essential workers and our most vulnerable populations. COVID-19 has followed patterns of inequality that were already deeply ingrained in communities and institutions.
Daily Bread Food Bank’s 2019 Who’s Hungry report demonstrated that racialized communities were over-represented among respondents, as were immigrants and people with disabilities. Many of these disabilities leave clients more vulnerable to COVID-19. With a median income of about $800 per month, it can be difficult for food bank clients to stay home, putting them at greater risk of infection.
Despite emergency responses like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), eviction freezes, and utilities deferrals, vulnerability remains high. We need to extend these emergency responses well into the recovery, both to protect Canadians from new outbreaks and to ease them into a fully reactivated workforce.
Now is the time to fix the cracks in our system and invest in the needs of everyday Canadians to create more resilient communities.
Let us harness this social solidarity and build a future we all believe in.
We encourage you to write to your elected official today to let them know that poverty reduction should be at the core of economic recovery.
To see our full recommendations urging federal leadership during the economic recovery, click here.