Imagine having to choose between paying the rent and buying food, or between medicines and food? Imagine worrying, perpetually, about where you next meal will come from, or the shame of relying on a food bank. Imagine grocery shopping when all you can afford is the no-name brand of mac-and-cheese. For millions of Canadians, many of whom are working, this is reality.

“The simple definition of (food insecurity) is people struggling to put food on the table because they lack money,” Valerie Tarasuk, a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto, says. “That is a very big problem in Canada and the public face of that problem is food banks.”