Measures to address poverty in the 2014 Ontario budget need full support

TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Daily Bread Food Bank is urging all parties to support the Ontario budget, which contains important measures to advance poverty reduction and improve the circumstances for low-income Ontarians. These measures include increased income support to people who are vulnerable to poverty and hunger, such as families with children and single adults.

"There are some positive measures in the budget that we hope all parties would implement regardless of how the political situation resolves itself," said Gail Nyberg, Executive Director of Daily Bread Food Bank. "In particular we would like to see the indexing of the Ontario Child Benefit. Daily Bread has always been a strong proponent of the Ontario Child Benefit - indexing it will allow low-income families with children to keep up to the rising costs of living such as food."

The budget also continues to implement key recommendations made by the Social Assistance Review Commission, such as streamlining benefits within the system as well as additional rate increases for single adults. Single adults continue to have a proportionally low level of assistance compared to other households. They also are the largest household group requiring food bank assistance.

Changes announced in the budget that Daily Bread supports include:

  • Raising the Ontario Child Benefit to $1,310 this year and indexing it to inflation beginning in 2015.

  • One per cent increase in Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Program Support rates and providing an additional top-up for single adults receiving Ontario Works, bringing their increase up to $30 this year.

  • Streamlining employment benefits in social assistance to reduce complexity in the system, and making it easier for people to know more about what benefits are available to them.

  • Expansion of health benefits to children in low-income working families.

"Keeping poverty reduction on the table is always the right thing to do," Nyberg said. "We are certainly prepared to work with all parties to see these measures implemented."

About Daily Bread Food Bank

A leader in the fight against hunger, Daily Bread Food Bank is a non-profit, charitable organization that serves people through neighbourhood food banks and meal programs in 170 community agencies across Toronto. Last year, Daily Bread provided food for 63,000 client visits a month to food banks and prepared and distributed over 170,000 nutritious meals through its kitchen programs. More than a food bank, Daily Bread also works to support people struggling with hunger by providing job training; researching and educating people on issues around poverty and moving forward with innovative and realistic solutions that will help people break away from poverty. Find out more about Daily Bread Food Bank at www.dailybread.ca.

SOURCE: Daily Bread Food Bank

For further information:

Sarah Anderson
Senior Manager, Communications
M: 416-450-2196
E: media@dailybread.ca


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