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Feds invest in Canada’s food banks

Feds invest in Canada’s food banks

An additional $100 million is going to food security organizations to help Canadians in need

By Jackie Clark
Staff Writer 

The Emergency Food Security Fund, first established in April 2020, is receiving a $100 million top-up to help organizations support Canadians facing food insecurity. 

Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced the additional investment, which is part of a total $140 million designated in Budget 2021 for emergency hunger relief, in an August 4 release. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has meant even greater uncertainty for Canadians who are unsure of where they will find their next meal. Even with the important benefits our Government put in place to support those who lost their incomes, our food banks and local food organizations have seen a spike in demand,” Bibeau explained. 

Funds are being allocated to Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada, Breakfast Club of Canada, Salvation Army, and La Tablée des Chefs, who will distribute the investment throughout their network food banks and organizations. 

“As we work to finish the fight against COVID-19, the Government of Canada is providing another $100 million in emergency assistance, in addition to the $200 million already allocated to these organizations over the past year, so they can continue helping vulnerable Canadians,” Bibeau said. 

Over 14.2 per cent of Canadian households have experienced food insecurity for at least one month during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 8.8 per cent experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity in 2018, according to Statistics Canada.  

As a result, food banks and local food organizations have experienced increased demand, at a time where many have fewer resources.

“To ensure all Canadians have equitable access to safe and healthy food, each organization will dedicate a portion of its funding to projects that directly support underrepresented groups,” said the August 4 release. “So far, the Emergency Food Security Fund has supported more than 4,700 local food initiatives across Canada, with over 1,050 initiatives directly supporting Indigenous organizations and communities.”

Vladimir Vladimirov\E+ photo

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