833,098 Canadians used food banks in March of 2013. Half of food bank users reported social assistance as their primary source of income, a quarter were single parent families, 11 percent were First Nations, Métis or Inuit, and 11 percent were recent immigrants. These Canadians come from a broad range of backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: they are living in poverty.

Ensuring that children are able to grow up in families that have adequate resources is important. Growing up in poverty can lead to major differences in school readiness, and this affects ability to do well in school. We have previously blogged about how parents living in poverty change their babies’ diapers less frequently than parents that are well-off in order to make their supplies last longer. We have also blogged about how child care is so unaffordable in Canada that only wealthy families have choices about how to care for their children.