Home Media News Releases 2020 Food Banks Canada applauds the government’s investment in food banks to deal with COVID-19 crisis

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Food Banks Canada applauds the government’s investment in food banks to deal with COVID-19 crisis

TORONTO, ON – April 3, 2020 – Today’s announcement from the federal government is welcomed with a sigh of relief from Food Banks Canada and the over 3,000 food banks and community agencies that come together to serve our most vulnerable neighbours. The $100 million investment, with $50 million going to Food Banks Canada, will help improve access to food for Canadians facing social, economic, and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the short term.

“We are very grateful for this investment by the federal government,” says Chris Hatch, CEO, Food Banks Canada. “We give our heartfelt thanks on behalf of all Canadians struggling with food insecurity, particularly in these uncertain times, when the need is likely to grow to levels we have never seen before.”

Food Banks Canada has been in regular discussions with the government, informing them of the reality of food banks on the frontline and exploring ways to support our vulnerable neighbours who face tremendous challenges, especially as concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic grow. Given the likely long-term economic impact of COVID-19, additional support from all levels of governments will no doubt be necessary.

Food banks across Canada have been severely impacted by COVID-19. They are facing increased demand for support, and operational capacity is strained. Many have seen drastic reductions in their food recovery efforts as well as a significant drop in volunteers. Yet, they are working tirelessly to serve those who rely on their services to feel safe and healthy.

Hatch continues, “With the growing need, it is important – now more than ever - to ensure that the most vulnerable people in Canada are not left behind.  We need to look after our neighbours in need.”

According to HungerCount 2019, an annual report released by Food Banks Canada that analyzes data from thousands of food banks across the country, Canadians already made more than one million visits to food banks every month prior to the growing COVID-19 crisis. As we see a rise in company closures, layoffs and EI applications, we know that it will have a trickle-down effect on food banks. To put this into perspective, during the Great Recession of 2008, food banks across Canada saw an increase of 200,000 additional clients each month, which equated to a 28% increase at the time and we anticipate an even larger increase in need resulting from the coronavirus crisis.

This funding will allow food banks to continue to purchase food and other necessities. It will also help find new ways of reaching people in need, so we can continue to serve those living with food insecurity while addressing the health-related challenges presented by COVID-19.

About Food Banks Canada

Food Banks Canada provides national leadership to relieve hunger today and prevent hunger tomorrow in collaboration with the food bank network from coast-to-coast-to-coast. For 40 years, food banks have been dedicated to helping Canadians living with food insecurity. Over 3,000 food banks and community agencies come together to serve our most vulnerable neighbours who – last year – made 1.1 million visits to these organizations in one month alone, according to our HungerCount report. Over the past 10 years, as a system we’ve sourced and shared over 1.4 billion pounds of food and Food Banks Canada shared nearly $70 million in funding to help maximize collective impact and strengthen local capacity – while advocating for reducing the need for food banks. Our vision is clear: create a Canada where no one goes hungry. Visit http://www.foodbankscanada.ca/ to learn more.

For interview requests or for more information, contact:
Sarah Soteroff
sarahsoteroff@sppublicrelations.com | 416.838.0077

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