Steelworkers Humanity Fund Contributes $107,800 to Canadian Food Banks

TORONTO, Nov. 9, 2011 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers' (USW) Canadian National Director Ken Neumann today announced the Steelworkers Humanity Fund is contributing $107,800 to 55 food banks in Canadian communities where USW members live and work.

"In communities as diverse as Port Alberni, Goose Bay, Montreal, and Sault Ste. Marie, The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is contributing to food banks because poor and vulnerable Canadians continue to rely on food banks to make ends meet," said Neumann. "Across this country we are collectively failing in our attempts to eliminate poverty', he said. "And we will continue to fail until we start to see the elimination of poverty as a human rights obligation that requires positive, committed government action at all levels".

The United Steelworkers urges passage of Bills C-233, a private members bill introduced by NDP member Jean Crowder into Parliament in June 2011. Bill C-233 requires the federal government to develop and implement a strategy for poverty elimination and social inclusion in consultation with the provincial, territorial, municipal and Aboriginal governments and with civil society organizations.

The recently released HungerCount 2011, produced by Food Banks Canada, provides one snapshot of the alarming dimensions of poverty in Canada:

  • 851,014 separate individuals received food from a food bank in March 2011;
  • Food bank use in 2011 was 26% higher than in 2008;
  • One in ten of those turning to food banks identify as First Nations, Metis, or Inuit.

The Campaign 2000 Annual Report Card (2010) notes that almost 400,000 adult full-time workers in Canada earn less than $10 per hour.

For a complete list of recipients of Humanity Fund contributions, please visit www.usw.ca.

Founded in 1985, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund is a registered charitable organization that focuses primarily on development projects and emergency aid in developing countries, but also supports Canadian communities in crisis. Steelworker members contribute to the Fund through clauses negotiated into collective agreements. In some cases matching contributions come from employers.

The HungerCount 2011 can be found here: http://foodbankscanada.ca/getmedia/dc2aa860-4c33-4929-ac36-fb5d40f0b7e7/HungerCount-2011.pdf.aspx

Campaign 2000's Annual National Report Card on Poverty will be released near the end of November and can be found at http://www.campaign2000.ca/

Bill C-233, and the petition in support of it, can be found at http://www.dignityforall.ca/en/sign-petition-show-your-support-poverty-elimination-act

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Ken Neumann, USW 416-544-5950
Doug Olthuis, Steelworkers Humanity Fund, 416-544-5957


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