An east London food bank is preparing to switch from the usual hamper program to a food card that can be redeemed at a retailer.

“We’re looking at a change and we believe this will work,” said Nancy Howard, who runs the East London United Church Outreach, a ministry supported by several United Churches to address poverty in east London.

“It’s an awesome model, it’s about dignity and being able to choose food when you shop.”

While it may be close to the hearts of local residents, a homegrown program that feeds the hungry with dignity is gaining major momentum nationally and is on the verge of becoming a pilot project in several locales.

After being highlighted on the front page of a national newspaper in early February, Operation Sharing’s Food for Friends program is getting a lot of attention from both those in the industry and media.

“We’re getting emails and phone calls off the hook,” explained Chaplain Stephen Giuliano of Operation Sharing, who introduced Food for Friends in Woodstock in 2005. “Part of it is there is a change in the wind in terms of the whole food bank system. People are looking for something else more progressive and dignified.”

Since the recession, citizens’ groups have been springing up across the country to push for a guaranteed annual income…

The core of the movement is still academics and social activists, but they’ve been joined by growing numbers of middle-income Canadians who have grudgingly concluded a universal income floor is the only way to keep their country livable.

Toronto, a city increasingly segmented between rich and poor, now has more super-rich residents than any other city in North America except New York, a new survey has found.

The report from real estate consultancy Knight Frank ranked Toronto as the 12th “most important” city in the world for people with a net worth of US$30 million or more, referred to as “ultra high net worth individuals” (UHNWIs).

The survey found there are 1,216 such super-rich people in Toronto, the second-highest number in North America, behind only New York, with 3,008 super-rich people. Los Angeles recorded 969 people with US$30 million or more, while Chicago had 827.