Zero hunger


Every Canadian has the right to food according to International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ratified by Canada. Yet 4 million Canadians, including 1.15 million children, are food insecure. Food insecurity takes a substantial toll on physical and mental health, engendering significant costs to the health care system. While the causes and experiences of food insecurity are complex, the overwhelming factor is poverty, and policy solutions must therefore address income levels.

Canadians living in food insecurity need a basic income that will allow them to fully enjoy their human right to food.

Establishing a basic income floor 

A basic income (sometimes called a guaranteed annual income) would establish a minimum level of income for all Canadians by topping up the income of anyone who falls below a designated poverty line. The impact of such a basic income would be most significant for people living in extreme levels of food insecurity.

Basic income is proven to be an effective solution to food insecurity. For example, Canadian seniors who receive a basic income through Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement cut their risk of food insecurity in half.

To eliminate food insecurity, we need to tackle poverty

The Eat Think Vote campaign calls on the federal government to study the feasibility of establishing a basic income floor to ensure all Canadians can afford sufficient, safe, healthy and culturally appropriate food.

Removing the financial obstacles to food security can be accomplished through a number of strategies:

  • Undertaking a feasibility study on the implementation of a basic income to be administered through the tax system and set above the Low Income Measure.
  • Increasing the National Child Benefit to a level that adequately addresses child poverty and indexing it to the cost of living.
  • Developing a national housing strategy, including increased federal investment in affordable housing.
  • Instituting a national Pharmacare program to provide affordable access to pharmaceutical drugs and reduce overall Canadian drug spending.
  • Developing a publicly funded childcare system that ensures affordable access to child care for low-income parents.
  • Increasing the Working Income Tax Benefit.

Get more details on the issue by reading this document.

Students also face food insecurity. Read the document developed by Food Secure Canada's Youth Caucus about Student Hunger and Food Insecurity. 

Every Canadian has the right to food and we need a national food policy that commits to ending food insecurity in Canada.