This is the time of year when the three of us turn off CBC Radio.

We can’t bear to listen to the Sounds of the Season’s cheerful promotion of food bank donations.

We are not Grinches or Scrooges. We most assuredly want everyone in Canada not to have to worry about putting food on the table.

But we object to our national broadcaster helping to perpetuate the myth that if we all just “pitch in” for food banks, then we can “end hunger.” This comforting fable is a convenient smokescreen for government inaction on poverty and the intersecting gender, racist and ableist inequities that disproportionately keep women, BIPOC, and people with disabilities in poverty and food insecurity. These are problems that food bank donations can never fix.

The city of London quietly has backed away from a plan that threatened to cut more than 100 shelter beds for homeless people by spring.

City officials had asked each shelter to limit its number of beds to 50 in applications for the next three years of funding, in an attempt to change the shelter system and get more people housed.

That would have meant cuts to half the beds in the two largest shelters, more than 100 overall.

Basic income—a guaranteed minimum income—already exists in Canada, for seniors and children. Canadians aged 65 or over qualify for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, regardless of employment history. The Canada Child Benefit provides a tax-free benefit, with the largest payments to families with the lowest incomes.

Basic income proponents want to extend a guaranteed minimum income to working-age Canadians. Though the idea of a universal basic income, paid to everyone and then clawed back through the income tax system, has gained traction, most Canadian advocates support a targeted approach in which eligibility depends on income, and support is gradually reduced as other income rises. Like Medicare, basic income would be available unconditionally, and adequate to meet basic needs for food, shelter, clothing and social inclusion.