“If people at the church think they’re going to end poverty by volunteering at the food bank, they’re not,” said Put Food In The Budget provincial organizer Mike Balkwill. “If they think they’re alleviating poverty, they’re maybe alleviating a very small part of it.”

Volunteers at food banks across Canada manage to collect and distribute 90 million kilograms of food per year. But spread out over the 1.7 million Canadians per year who pick up groceries at a food bank, it works out to just less than five kilograms or $24.50 worth of food per month, according to the latest Put Food In The Budget analysis launched at a Dec. 4 provincial campaign meeting in Toronto.

Parish volunteers is no way to run a social policy, according to Hamilton volunteer Susan Mumma.