A United Nations representative says Canada needs a national food strategy.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food toured the country in May and his report was just released.

Olivier De Schutter says he’s “disconcerted by the deep and severe food insecurity” facing Inuit and aboriginal people in Canada.

De Schutter says the minimum wage needs to be increased so people can afford to buy food, and the housing system needs improvement so that poor families do not have to sacrifice food to pay rent.

That struck a chord with Diana Bronson, the executive director of Food Secure Canada — a national organization aimed at eliminating hunger.

“I think what the special rapporteur has done is given voice to a lot of these concerns at really the highest international level,” Bronson said.

The face of poverty in Niagara and the nation grew younger than ever as summer turned to fall.

More than half of the faces flowing through the doors of Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold around back-to-school time were kids, said executive director Betty-Lou Souter. All in all, 53% of their clients were children. The normal ratio is 38%.

And yet, Niagara’s not alone, says a report from the Conference Board of Canada. Among 17 compared nations, Canada ranks a dismal 15th in child poverty and working-age poverty alike.