Before COVID-19, nearly four and a half million Canadians were food insecure. In the first two months of the pandemic, food insecurity increased by 39 per cent and now affects one in seven people.
In response, the federal government introduced income supports like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and provided $100 million for emergency food aid. Community Food Centres Canada received some of these funds, which we then distributed to hundreds of community food security organizations, Indigenous communities and municipalities across the country. We did this to ensure people who need food can access it during the COVID-19 crisis
However, emergency food assistance should only be necessary in an emergency. Instead, we need to address the root causes of food insecurity, which are poverty and systemic inequity.
As the federal government continues to address the pandemic and as we eventually move past it, we must ask ourselves: how can we come out the other side a more food-secure society? And how can we do this in a way that does not further entrench food charity as a response to food insecurity?
In partnership with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Food Secure Canada, we have laid out a recovery plan that will ensure all Canadians are able to put good food on the table for themselves and their families—and create healthier food environments.
Take a look at the Alternative Federal Budget Food Security chapter and the CCPA’s entire Recovery Plan.