Canada must eliminate food banks and provide a basic income after COVID-19
THE CONVERSATION – The COVID-19 pandemic is an awkward time to propose exiting food banks as a response to widespread food insecurity. Food bank use, after all, is surging. However, research has long shown that feeding surplus food to those left behind in wealthy, food-secure Canada is ineffective, inequitable and an affront to human dignity.
In a democratic society that values tolerance, equity and human rights, food banks are symbols of public policy neglect. They enable indifferent governments to ignore the moral crisis of domestic hunger.
In 2012, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, reminded Ottawa that “reliance on food banks served as a moral release valve for the state.” It “was symptomatic of the need to step up social protection systems to align them with the increased cost of living.”