Federal election season is just around the corner, and with the spotlight shining brighter on the many social, economic and environmental issues impacting Canadians, I’m finding myself filled with conflicting emotions. On the one hand, I know that objectively speaking, I live in amazing country; one that encourages its citizens to share their voices, and offers many social services to enhance their quality of life. But just as there’s so much to be proud of in Canada, there are also many reasons to be critical.
For example, this month alone, over 840,000 of your fellow Canadians, 37% of which are children, will go to their local food bank looking for their next meal. That number has grown steadily since the recession of 2009 and with little national policy in place to combat food insecurity, there’s no reason to believe that things will turn around soon.
Simply put, in a country as developed and prosperous as Canada, no one should have to worry about where their next meal will come from.
Because of your donations, food banks like North York Harvest are able to make sure that Canadians in need can put good, healthy meals on the table. But that doesn’t mean that the issue has been resolved.
On October 19th 2015, we will go to the polls to decide who makes the big decisions in our country moving forward. With food bank usage across the country at all-time high levels, now is the time to let politicians know that food security is important to you and to millions of other Canadians, and that improvements to the current policy need to be made.
Here are a few simple actions that you can take to make sure that issues surrounding hunger and food banks are not forgotten this election season.
1) Contact the Member of Parliament candidates in your riding and let them know that food security in Canada is important to you and your neighbours. Call their office, write them a letter, email, or even tweet at them. It’s going to be their job to represent the views of their constituents; so make sure that they know that you’re passionate about this issue.
2) Attend local debates and try to get the issue of hunger in Canada on the agenda. This is great way to ensure that the topic becomes part of the discussion during the campaign and that strategies are being put forth by candidates.
3) On October 19th, head to the polls and vote for the candidate or party that represents your hope for a Canada without hunger!
If you’re not sure what party best aligns with your beliefs, you might want to take this on-line quiz.
This election season let’s make our communities without a enough food a priority. Let us know what you’re doing to spread the word by tweeting at us today with hash-tag #votefood4all.
*Statistics taken from Food Banks Canada’s Hunger Count 2014 Report*