If they lock you out … take it to the street

When CBC locked them out in Kitchener, that’s what Alliance Against Poverty did. Raise the Rates did the same in Vancouver.

If they change the discourse … get back to the point

That’s what PFIB is doing in Toronto

If they won’t answer the question … keep up the pressure

That’s what’s being done everywhere.

Food banks, it is claimed, are miracles of the human spirit and an inherently effective response to market needs — domestic hunger — while no government can get it right all the time.

Well, since 1981, when food banks reached Canada from the U.S., government has waited 35 years and done nothing. Instead, troubling food insecurity is left to food charity, with Canadian governments neglecting official data that hunger is primarily a problem of income poverty and failed income distribution.

Rather than a miracle, the hungry need a political champion.

A university professor in Nova Scotia says while turkey drives and food banks make the donors feel good — they don’t fix a much larger problem of helping the poor.

“… I began to think, ‘What is it that people really need who are poor?’ They don’t need socks, they don’t need a few more bus tickets so they can go to a doctor’s appointment,” Haiven told On the Go host Ted Blades this week.

“It made me cringe, because leaving food for the food bank makes us middle-class people feel good. It’s not to say the food banks don’t need food — but where and when and how is it going end? We seldom think of that.”

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.” — Hélder Câmara, Brazilian Catholic Archbishop, 1909-1999

If Jesus came back to Earth on his birthday this Christmas, one of his first missions would be to close food banks — all of them.

Not because they aren’t vitally important in feeding the poor but because food banks are not a solution to poverty — and never will be.

HungerCount is probably the most widely disseminated, frequently cited data produced in Canada in regards to the issue of hunger and food security in the country. Its numbers are high, and they should be jarring.

But those numbers are misleading…

“When you look at these reports, what they give you the impression of is that they’re stats on the problem. They’re not,” Valerie Tarasuk, a researcher based out of the University of Toronto, told VICE.

“It’s service utilization. If we were trying to look at the health of Canadians, would we look at the number of ambulances that drive by?” The issue, in other words, is right in the name: Food Banks Canada isn’t actually counting the number of Canadians who are going hungry.

Metro Morning host Matt Galloway welcomed Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne to his “Sounds of the Season” program on December 3rd.

Before the premier’s arrival, activists from Put Food in the Budget and their allies had been busy handing out the <a href=”http://putfoodinthebudget.ca/PFIB_foodbank_postcard_2015_download_version.pdf”>PFIB 2015 food bank postcard</a> to the hundreds of early-risers waiting in line outside the Glenn Gould Theatre.

Here’s the conversation …

“We asked our clients at the food bank, what needs to change in your life so that you do not need us any longer? What we heard from them was, ‘I need affordable housing. Seventy per cent of my income is going to my rent, I need more money,'” she said.

“These people are trying to live on money that is just not enough, and they need affordable daycare.”