CUPE National President Paul Moist says a new Food Banks Canada report reveals an alarming increase in food bank usage across Canada.
“We are seeing more and more people having to turn to food banks just to meet their most basic needs,” says Moist. “Far too many are being left behind in this country’s economic recovery.”
The HungerCount 2010 report, released today in Ottawa, shows a 28 per cent increase in food bank visits over the last two years – the largest increase on record. The report also shows more than a third of people needing food bank assistance are under 18 years old. Another seven per cent of assisted households rely on pensions for income.
“There are a troubling number of children, young people and pensioners relying on food banks,” says Moist. “We are clearly not doing enough to protect the most vulnerable Canadians from poverty.”
Moist is calling on the federal government to implement a national poverty reduction strategy, and for strengthened social assistance programs.
“The federal government must show leadership in fighting poverty. Without investments in pensions, employment insurance, child care and affordable housing programs, we will only see more and more Canadians forced to use food banks,” says Moist.
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