Let’s see if we can make sense of this.

UNICEF has just given Canada a passing grade, mind you barely a pass, when it comes to the fight against child poverty. In a report released today it claims that 21% of Canadian children live in poverty, nothing to brag about, but at least this is lower than the 23% who were poor just before the recession started in 2008.

Interestingly, Statistics Canada also says child poverty is down, but that only 8.5% of kids are poor. However, at the same time it says child poverty is up, reaching almost 14%. And finally, if this is not confusing enough, it says that, yes, 14% of kids are poor, but this is down since 2008.

Up or down? One-in-five kids poor, or one-in-seven, or maybe even as few as only one-in-eleven?

Kelly is a single mother, one among the hundreds of thousands of working-poor Canadians who simply can’t afford to put nutritious food on their tables.

The Nova Scotia mother of eight children – four of whom are at home and range in age from three to 11 – earns $11 an hour, which is 60 cents above the province’s minimum wage, at her 33-hour-a-week job at a daycare in her community.

“It is hard to keep things going,” she says. “I don’t think you know stress [like this]. I’ll dish out their food and … when they are done eating, if there is enough food left over, then okay, I get supper. If not then it might be picking off of their plate, but that’s how it’s always been with me since I’ve had kids. I’d rather see the kids eat, and me go without than for them to still be hungry.”

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October 18, 2014

Heart FM

Chew on this

Oxford County residents were handed healthy snacks at grocery stores Friday as part of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Community Outreach Engager with Compass Robin House says it was part of their ChewOnThis! campaign.

“We are here simply today to hand out apples with a fridge magnet and a postcard that people can mail into the government, to our Prime Minister and let them know that we, as a community, want a poverty plan.”

London’s anti-poverty advocates envision a future when there isn’t a food bank and those in need get their food from grocery stores.

To help make that vision a reality, they’re calling on business expertise for help, Jane Roy, co-executive director of the London Food Bank, said Thursday.

“Is there a creative way for folks who need cheaper food to get it where we all get it? We need people who think outside the box.”