QUEEN’S PARK — The NDP critic for Poverty and Homelessness, Rima Berns-McGown, made the following statement in response to the Daily Bread Food Bank’s report about food bank usage being on the rise:
“No one in our city should have to skip a meal in order to pay a bill. No parent should have to send their child to school hungry. Troublingly, hunger and an inability to afford food after rent and bills are paid is a reality for many households in the GTA — a problem that’s growing, with food bank usage up double the rate of population growth. The crisis of food insecurity is worse in low-income neighbourhoods, and for people who are racialized, Indigenous or living with a disability.
Poverty costs Ontario between $27 and $33 billion a year, and is the result of systems that push people into it and make it hard for them to get out.
The Daily Bread Food Bank’s Who’s Hungry report clearly states that hunger is a symptom of poverty, and that poverty must be addressed by governments, not simply shunted to overworked charities. But the Ford government, since coming to power, has slashed one poverty-reduction program after another: Ford cancelled the basic income pilot, axed a planned increase to social assistance, limited Ontario Disability supports and put thousands of affordable child care spaces in jeopardy.
Doug Ford gutted funding for affordable housing by 20 per cent.
When will Doug Ford take the immediate action needed and support the systems that help eradicate poverty? Every GTA resident deserves to have money available for rent, bills and food to feed their families.”