Yesterday marked an annual event in the Food Banks Canada calendar – the release of their annual Hunger Count report. Pulling in data from their network of 3,000 food centres, the numbers are an example that the recession has not abated for many living in low-income, and thousands who are in need of food.
This year Food Banks Canada calculated that each month 833,098 individuals are using food banks across the country – 23% above pre-recession levels. Half of the users are families with children, 11% identify as First Nation, Métis or Inuit, and another 11% are recent immigrants. A full 12% have jobs, and 5% were recently employed. What these numbers tell us is that our current system of support is failing. That a ‘job plan’ is not a poverty plan and people are finding themselves in desperate need for basic goods, such as food.