Home Blog June 2015 How Can We Reduce Food Bank Use Among Children?

How Can We Reduce Food Bank Use Among Children?

How Can We Reduce Food Bank Use Among Children?
Several decades of research has shown that childhood poverty, particularly in the early years (i.e., prenatal to age 5), has a profound effect on the physical, mental, and economic outcomes of adults. Furthermore, the lower family incomes are, and the longer poverty persists, the more severe is the effect.


A central part of Food Banks Canada advocacy 
The issue of child poverty is central to the research and advocacy work of Food Banks Canada — and it is present in every aspect of our efforts to convince governments to implement forward-thinking policies to reduce the need for food banks.
Appropriate and affordable housing, adequate supports 
for parents on social assistance, and more
effective adult education programs will all contribute to better environments in which to raise a child.
Our recommendations
We have also developed a number of child-specific policy recommendations that, if implemented, will lead to improved outcomes for children. Each has the added benefit of supporting parents of young children to enter and remain in the labour force. They include:
• Increasing federal and provincial benefits to parents with children. These benefits have been clearly shown to reduce the number of children living in poverty. If they are further targeted to the most vulnerable families, they will have an expanded effect.
• At the federal and provincial levels, increasing investment in predictable, stable funding for 
professional, affordable, flexible, regulated child care will contribute to child development and enable parents to enter and remain in the labour force.
• Federal and provincial governments getting help to vulnerable parents with young children as soon as they need it. This has implications for prenatal and postnatal care, early child development, child welfare agencies, and child care programs. The current systems that work to support families with young children are underfunded and disjointed, with quality and access varying widely between regions.
To learn more about our research and policy advocacy, please see HungerCount 2014 at www.foodbankscanada.ca/hungercount.

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of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)