Canada's NDP

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October 30th, 2012

Increase in food bank users: government must take action

The Conservatives’ failure to help Canadians in need was underscored today by a study showing a 31 percent increase in Canadian food bank use since 2008.

A report released today by Food Banks Canada showed that a total of 882,000 Canadians used food banks in March 2012. That represents a 31 percent increase since before the recession.

“Steps must be taken to end hunger in Canada and the federal government has the necessary tools to set us on the right track,” said NDP Critic for Human Resources and Skills Development Chris Charlton (Hamilton Mountain). “Unfortunately, the Conservatives refuse to commit funding for the construction of affordable housing, support social development or broaden access to employment insurance. And instead of supporting seniors, they slashed their pensions.”

The report showed that the majority – 64 percent – of food bank users live in rental housing while close to five percent are homeless. Perhaps most disturbing, nearly 40 percent of food bank users are children.

“It’s the moral responsibility of the government to ensure that all citizens have enough to eat,” said NDP Housing Critic Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet. “It’s a matter of choice. Time and time again the Conservatives choose to ignore those in need.”