Food banks won’t make hunger go away

Canada’s food-bank shelves have been running empty for 35 years. Yes, restock them, but don’t expect hunger to go away. Even Food Banks Canada says it will not.

Sadly, compassionate appeals to food donors allow the community, business and our politicians to believe that food charity is the answer to hunger. Nothing is further from the truth.

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Food-bank usage underestimates the scale of the national crisis: four million food-insecure Canadians, of whom 60 per cent are working poor. Only one in four of the food-insecure use food banks and many who do remain hungry.

Bread and circuses only serve to distract political attention. Ending widespread domestic hunger requires, for starters, an adequate basic income guarantee and a living wage as bedrock national social policies.

It’s election time: Let’s hold our politicians to account.

Graham Riches

Qualicum Beach

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