[A]bout 10 per cent of Niagara families live with food insecurity because of the growing gulf between what healthy food costs and what people on low incomes can afford.

Each year, regional staff visit grocery stores to price 67 items that make up what’s known as the “healthy food basket,” representing what it would take to feed a family of two parents and two children with healthy food for a week.

That basket rose another three per cent, or about $6 in the last year and now stands at $196.27.

For folks trying to get by with minimum-wage jobs, social assistance or Ontario disability, it’s increasingly getting out of reach.

I dream of a Canada where citizens actively seek social justice. In the country of my dreams, we would value the common humanity of all, ensure that everyone has what they need to live a socially acceptable life, and provide social, material, educational and political conditions in which everyone has opportunities to flourish. There are far too many people living in poverty in our wealthy nation. Poverty stunts us, limiting the possibilities to achieve all that we could if we had a fair chance. It excludes us from fully participating in everyday life and in full citizenship. It makes us sick and causes us to die too soon. All of us lose out when some of us live in poverty. Let’s start a new conversation about poverty in Canada and demand that our governments put an end to it.