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What can we do about hunger in Canada? November 16, 2010

Posted by gfsa in Community Stories.

Today, Food Banks Canada released its annual report on hunger, Hunger Count 2010.  The report is a snapshot of food bank usage across Canada.   This year the report shows the highest level of food bank use on record.  In March 2010, 867,948 people were served by food banks…that’s just one month!

Overall, Canada’s food bank usage increased by 9.2%.  In Alberta the increase was 9.9% .   The report includes some shocking  statistics, especially for Alberta.  The percentage of children being served is 37.8% nationally and  43.1% in Alberta.   Worse, 51% of the total First Nation, Metis and Inuit population in Alberta is being served by food banks.  This is dismal compared to the national average of 12.1%!

We know there is a lot of really great work going on in Alberta around food security and food sovereignty, but it would appear that we are not doing enough to address poverty and hunger.  The report suggests some potential solutions, perhaps its time to explore some of them!  Please take time to review this report and its accompanying video and share it with others!  Awareness is a first step.

Hunger Count 2010 Report: http://www.foodbankscanada.ca/documents/HungerCount2010_web.pdf
Video: http://youtu.be/pBi4RTapxEg

Submitted by: Angie Dedrick, GFSA Co-coordinator



1. John Zylstra - November 17, 2010

Part of the difficulty of evaluating food bank usage is distinguishing between the demand for food banks, and the availability of food bank food. Obviously, if you don’t have a food bank, no one can use it. Or if a food bank has no supplies, it also cannot be used.

The more food a food bank has, the more it works at distributing the food it has, especially if some of the food is produce or has a limited shelf life. Some food banks commonly get bread and pastry products past their best before date, and they find ways of distributing it to those who can use it. Some food banks refuse to work with anything that is not a canned food or a dried food product. Other food distribution systems bypass the food banks but still distribute past-due food products to needy people.

I wonder if all of these things have been taken into consideration when comparing food bank usage among provinces.

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