Being disabled is increasingly a trigger for poverty and hunger, according to a new report profiling food bank clients across the GTA.

The percentage of disabled people lining up at food banks has almost doubled since 2005, the Daily Bread Food Bank’s Who’s Hungry report states.

Disability beneficiaries receive so little money from Ontario’s social welfare programs they are forced to live in poverty, Daily Bread executive director Gail Nyberg said.

The steadily increasing number of Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients relying on food banks is a concerning trend, she said.

My daughter just can’t believe the poverty she has seen this past week.

I was a bit surprised at this news, when she reached us by phone. Here, after all, is a young woman who has traveled to Ecuador, Chile, Guatemala and Bangladesh, and completed her university degree.

She had just left for a six-month stint, along with 17 other young adults from Nicaragua and Canada, to live with host families, learn each other’s customs and work with social agencies.

But my daughter wasn’t on the line from somewhere in the Global South. She was calling from Hamilton, Ont.

When times are tough, many families turn to food banks.

“Four million Canadians are living in households where there’s a struggle to afford the food that they need,” said Valerie Tarasuk, a professor of nutritional science at the University of Toronto. “That is a big problem.”

At St. Paul’s on-the-Hill Community Food Bank in Pickering, some shelves are almost empty: A result of a slowdown in donations over the summertime and the economy as many people have lost jobs.

“They’re lined up outside before we’re even open, “said Mae Herridge, a volunteer. “A lot of them have young children.”

Anti-poverty advocates have learned to welcome crumbs from the Ontario Liberals.

That is what they got in the five-year poverty reduction strategy unveiled by Deputy Premier Deb Matthews last week. The 56-page blueprint consisted of recycled promises, long-term goals, soothing language and self-congratulations (despite the fact she fell far short of her last five-year target.)

Toronto is failing more than a quarter of its children.

A new study concludes that child poverty has reached “epidemic” levels, with 29 per cent of children — almost 149,000 — living in low-income families. Even more disturbing: that figure has actually been on the rise for the last two years.

That’s right. After gradually declining to 27 per cent in 2010 from a high of 32 per cent in 2004, the city’s child poverty rate has increased once again.

In some areas it’s much worse: 15 of Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods have child poverty rates of 40 per cent or more, while 40 have poverty rates of 30 per cent or more.

Last week, people of the province were shocked to learn the story of Lewis Kearney, a St. John’s man who appeared in court to answer charges of theft for taking $40 worth of food from a local grocery store.

Kearney, who relies on income support totaling $115 per week, turned to crime when government subsidies for heat and light bills were cut and his financial situation became impossible. After the story broke, there was an outpouring of sympathy for Kearney in the form of food donations, and the provincial government quickly responded to his earlier requests for assistance with health-related issues.

There may be more hunger in the city than you think.

A new study reveals nearly one thousand people rely on food assistance every day.

Kingston’s food providers have unveiled their first ever report that paints a “clear and startling” picture of food insecurity.

“It’s not glamourous but it packs a punch with data we’ve not seen before,” said Mara Shaw, executive director of Loving Spoonful.