Hey, Minister. It’s Time to End Our Disgraceful Food Bank Dependency

Hey, Minister. It’s Time to End Our Disgraceful Food Bank Dependency

Providing public funding for food banks ‘makes a mockery of the data that shows food insecurity is an income problem that must be dealt with through poverty reduction and social inclusion.’ Photo by Jonathan Hayward, the Canadian Press.

Food insecurity should be addressed by raising incomes, not handing out ‘surplus’ goods at charities.

The TyeeAn open letter to Nicholas Simons, B.C.’s minister of social development and poverty reduction.

Many congratulations on your appointment in these fragile, unnerving pandemic times. As the NDP election platform and your mandate letter from the premier make clear, government policy on food banks is now your responsibility.

That means you have the opportunity — and responsibility — to reverse the province’s shocking embrace of U.S.-style food banks, which should be an embarrassment for Canada’s party of human rights and economic and social justice.

Especially as the dependence on food banks can only undermine B.C.’s legislated poverty reduction strategy.

You are rightly expected to build on the 2019 TogetherBC poverty reduction plan and the coming recommendations of the B.C. expert panel on basic income in determining the best way forward. Living wages and income assistance benefits, secure jobs and skills training are central to poverty reduction, advancing social inclusion and ending food insecurity.


Leave a Reply