North York Harvest, in partnership with Daily Bread Food Bank, have released the 2020 edition of the Who’s Hungry report. For more than two decades, the Who’s Hungry report has profiled experiences of poverty and food insecurity among food bank clients. Every year, we survey clients through March and April, typically hearing the voices of more than a thousand people who are doing everything they can to access food for their families in an increasingly unaffordable city.
Of course, 2020 has not been a typical year. While our survey collection was cut short after just two weeks due to the pandemic, we knew that food bank client voices were needed more than ever.
During times of crisis it is too often those who are marginalized that are ignored both in response to the emergency and in recovery. Based on our annual survey, food bank client intake data, and the Hunger Lives Here research conducted at the height of the first wave of COVID-19, Who’s Hungry 2020 looks to the past, present, and future of food insecurity in Toronto to build a stronger, more resilient city.
We can take a different path forward
We can listen to the voices of those experiencing food insecurity and put poverty reduction at the core of recovery efforts.
We can eliminate deep poverty by increasing social assistance rates, centering community-based responses in poverty reduction, and increasing refundable tax benefits for vulnerable populations.
We can make employment a pathway out of poverty by implementing national, universal childcare, raising the minimum wage, enhancing employment standards and implementing a national pharmacare program.
We can achieve affordable housing for all by providing immediate and long-term rent relief, increasing the supply of affordable housing, and ensuring that housing and development policies meet the needs of those with low incomes.