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Majority of Canadians believe that hunger and food insecurity will worsen as a result of COVID-19

Majority of Canadians believe that hunger and food insecurity will worsen as a result of COVID-19aAs we continue to show progress in the fight against COVID-19, anxiety is beginning to move from concern about the virus itself, and toward jobs and the economy*. With an unprecedented 2 million losing their jobs in April, we are in uncharted waters as to what the longer-term economic and social impact this crisis will have.
 
Food banks throughout the country are also trying to negotiate these uncharted waters. When people are out of work, they often have to rely on food banks. Many throughout Food Banks Canada’s network – the thousands of food bank employees and volunteers working to meet the immediate need in their local communities – are now trying to prepare for the unknown that lays ahead. 
 
A remarkable show of support from government, individuals, and corporations, as well as the implementation of a range of federal and provincial income security initiatives, have gone a long way to help both address and mitigate some of impact of the current crisis. Now, concern is shifting to what will happen in three to four months time, when the temporary income security initiatives run out, but rent will still need to be paid and food will still need to be put on the table.
 
Despite all the uncertainty, the importance of food, not only as a basic need for an individual, but for society as a whole to function, has become explicitly clear.
 
In a new poll conducted in partnership with Grassroots Public Affairs, results show that the vast majority of Canadians feel that hunger and food insecurity will become worse because of COVID-19, and recognize the role that rising unemployment will have on people’s ability to purchase and afford food. Canadians also consider the agriculture and agri-food sector to have an extremely important role to play in Canada’s national security and critical infrastructure. Lastly, Canadians feel that governments bear the most responsibility in managing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on hunger and food insecurity in Canada.
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