Canadian Association of Food Banks

Canadian Association of Food Banks

June 05, 2006 10:30 ET

Canadian Association of Food Banks: It's Time to End Hunger in Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 5, 2006) -

Millions of people in Canada do not have enough to eat.

Today, the Canadian Association of Food Banks (CAFB) hosted a panel discussion on domestic hunger at the National Gallery of Canada to launch the inaugural National Hunger Awareness Day, June 6th.

Public awareness of hunger in Canada was heightened as government, advocacy groups and members of the general public gathered to hear a diverse group of speakers deliver their views and solutions to hunger by taking a closer look at the social policies behind the issues. Panel speakers included Sherrie Tingley (Social Policy Advocate), Olivia Chow (Member of Parliament, NDP, Trinity-Spadina), Greg deGroot-Maggetti (Socio-Economic Policy Analyst, Citizens for Public Justice), and Diane Bascombe (President and CEO, Family Services Canada).

"Hunger Awareness Day is an important opportunity for Canadians from all walks of life to tackle the complex issue of domestic hunger. Hunger at home hurts us all. It requires a grassroots spirit and a concerted effort which goes beyond party politics to solve this persistent tragedy in our rich country," said Charles Seiden, Executive Director of CAFB.

The CAFB HungerCount survey(1) reports that 823,856 Canadians used a food bank in March 2005 and 40% of food bank clients were children. According to a Statistics Canada Health Report(2), 3.7 million people in Canada do not have enough food, do not have adequate quality food or worry about their next meal.

"We need to continue to work with all levels of government to develop long-term solutions to hunger and poverty while recognizing that food banks can play an essential role in ensuring greater food security for those who struggle to put nutritious, quality food on their tables every day," stated Wayne Hellquist, outgoing Chair of the CAFB and CEO of the Regina and District Food Bank.

Hunger Awareness Day is a grassroots movement, started by America's Second Harvest--the Canadian Association of Food Banks' counterpart in the United States. The goal is to raise awareness about the solvable problem of domestic hunger. CAFB has been working with America's Second Harvest to mirror this event in Canada and strengthen the overall message of hunger in North America. Numerous local activities and events are planned across the country starting tomorrow, June 6th and can be viewed at www.hungerawarenessday.ca.

Founded in 1985, the Canadian Association of Food Banks (CAFB) is the voice of food banks in Canada. CAFB conducts research, engages in public education and advocates for public policy change. Through its members and their 2,800 partner agencies, its serves approximately 90 % of people who use emergency food programs nation-wide. While CAFB provides food daily for people in need, its ultimate goal is a hunger-free Canada.

(1)Canadian Association of Food Banks, (2005) HungerCount

(2)Statistics Canada, (2005) Food Insecurity in Canadian Households

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