[Press release] Federal Government Announces $100 M for Food Banks and Local Food Organizations

MONTRÉAL, APRIL 3, 2020 – 

 

Today, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $100 million in support of food banks, Community Food Centres and local food organizations. Some funding will be delivered through the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, part of the Food Policy for Canada. This much-needed investment will allow food organizations to purchase food and seek the infrastructure required to respond to Covid-19. Food Secure Canada is pleased to see this timely response for community organizations, and hopes that it will support work to bolster local capacity and resiliency into the future.

Food, like shelter, is a necessity of life and a human right, and these funds will allow community organizations to respond better to the crisis at hand. Many groups are finding innovative solutions, such as members of the Coalition for Healthy School Food, many of whom are  working with local farmers, chefs and other organizations to deliver healthy food to children and families, even while schools are closed. According to the Coalition’s Coordinator, Debbie Field, “As we continue to work towards a National School Food Program for Canada, members of the Coalition will be able to apply for funds to support local programming.”

However, even before the crisis, food insecurity was already on the rise, with 4.4 million Canadians facing hunger. In light of Covid-19, many more are now at risk of becoming food insecure, especially certain groups such as Indigenous and racialized households, who experience hunger at two to three times the national average. While food banks and income support measures are important resources, the data show that neither are enough to prevent or resolve hunger in Canada. At its core, food insecurity is a problem of poverty, and long-term, structural change is required, using tools such as a universal basic income.

Fortunately, the Food Policy for Canada is referenced as a framework to respond to food insecurity both now and in the future. According to Gisèle Yasmeen, Executive Director of Food Secure Canada, “this significant announcement should be seen within the context of the Food Policy’s vision and objectives that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including zero hunger as well as health and environmental targets.”

Keeping in mind other COVID-19 announcements, Food Secure Canada hopes that these funds will support work that builds longer-term food system resilience. This is a momentous opportunity to build stronger food systems across the country, strengthening local economies and environmental sustainability, supporting local farmers, and building the health and wellbeing of all Canadians.

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About Food Secure Canada

Food Secure Canada is a pan-Canadian alliance of organizations and individuals working together to advance food security and food sovereignty through three interlocking goals: zero hunger, healthy and safe food, and sustainable food systems.

 

For more information

Rachel Cheng, Communications Coordinator

communications@foodsecurecanada.org