Food security should be a basic right

Re: “Clothing shop launches drive to fight hunger,” April 16.

It’s time for food banks to pump up the volume and start challenging the community to do something more significant than donating a few tins of canned fish whenever the shelves are bare. They should be joining with those voices who want to build a more inclusive community, one that will give all citizens access to affordable housing, nutritious food and appropriate medical care.

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Building bigger, more efficient food banks may temporarily feed more hungry people, but they won’t end hunger and they won’t prevent the users of this system from feeling like second-class citizens in a first-class world.

That’s why I’m ashamed when I read about drives to fight hunger. I know that these actions will perpetuate the broken system that is causing hunger. More of my neighbours will have to make their way down to the Mustard Seed, St. Vincent de Paul’s social-concerns office and St. John the Divine food bank once a month, where they will receive a few bags of groceries that may last them a few days at best. Then it will be back to the soup kitchens and free meals provided by non-profit agencies and faith communities in this city. That’s the reality.

Food-bank operators and their supporters must start calling for real change that will make food security a basic right for everyone, if they ever hope to close their doors forever.

Now that’s a story that would make me feel proud of my community.

Susan Draper

Victoria

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