Food insecurity is not as simple as being hungry. It’s more about fear of not having enough to eat and the tough reality that you might have to skip a meal.
Food bank use is higher than before the recession. In fact, in 2013, nearly half of food banks in Canada reported an increase in use. They are stretched to their limits.
Hunger can happen to anyone. Food Banks Canada Hunger Count 2013 states that 22 percent of households helped by food banks are two-parent families and seven percent helped are homeowners.
Due to poor wages, high housing, child care costs and other increases in cost of living, many people don’t have enough money to buy food. This is more than a hunger issue: it’s a poverty problem.
The Salvation Army believes that no one should be hungry, struggle to find a job or be forced to sleep on the streets. Every year we serve 1.8 million people in Canada and attempt to combat poverty through programs such as life-skills classes and budget counselling.
People need access to emergency food in hard times. That’s why food banks were created. But with the number of users increasing we need to seek solutions that address hunger’s root causes and move Canada towards real progress.