Fight Hunger24 January, 2016
Despite figuring among the world’s top economies, Canada is not sheltered from the scourge of hunger and food insecurity. Statistics Canada reports that at least 8% of Canadian adults and 5% of Canadian children live in households that do not have access to a sufficient variety or quantity of food due to lack of money. That represents at least 8.3% of Canadian households. When one considers families that depend on government benefits, as the main source of income, the rate of food insecurity increases to 21.4%. Similarly, lone-parent families with children under 18 have a 22.6% rate of food insecurity. A 2013 Angus Reid Public Opinion survey, commissioned by Food Banks Canada, reported that at least 25% of Canadians, that year, had worried about being able to afford to buy food for themselves and/or their families.
Canadian food banks have been struggling to alleviate the problem. Food Banks Canada estimates that every month, close to 1 million Canadians turn to food banks for assistance. This as food banks across the country are experiencing dwindling stocks. The situation is likely to become more dire, as Food Secure Canada warns that the drop in the value of the Canadian dollar will lead to higher grocery bills, particularly for fruits and vegetables, which are overwhelmingly imported.
The Michaëlle Jean Foundation is excited to join forces with the National Art Gallery of Canada and the Commission scolaire de l’Est de l’Ontario on a national effort to empower young people to develop strategies to fight hunger through the power of the arts. As part of the campaign, school boards in the National Capital Region, and across Canada, will come together to provide their students with an unprecedented opportunity to tackle the issue of hunger and food insecurity in their communities. Support this initiative.