The problem of hunger in Canada isn’t going away. According to Food Banks Canada, an estimated 13 per cent of Canadians live within a state of food insecurity. That means they don’t have reliable access to an adequate amount of food that is safe, nutritious and of good quality.

It’s an astonishing statistic, and one that belies Canada’s global reputation for having an abundance of resources, including prodigious agricultural production and the natural ability to feed its populace. It’s also a statistic that requires some explanation.

To begin with, food security isn’t really about food. Most often it’s about income. The people who go hungry in Canada are almost always in a low-income group. Their ability to afford good quality and nutritious food is consistently hampered by their cost of housing, their utility bills and whatever other financial obligations that conflict with their budget for groceries.