TORONTO, March 26, 2013 /CNW/ - Food Banks Canada is encouraged by the
federal government's 2013 budget commitment to maintain funding for
affordable housing and homelessness programs which are critical
strategies in addressing poverty and hunger in Canada as recommended in
Food Banks Canada's HungerCount 2012 report.
Each year, food banks across the country report that the cost of housing
is the main reason why close to 900,000 Canadians a month seek help
from a food bank. The federal government announcement that it will
extend the funding for another five years of the Affordable Housing
framework and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, as well as funding
earmarked for new housing in Nunavut over the next two years,
highlights the fact that these initiatives are imperative to ensure
stability for people and communities in need.
"Too many people in Canada are forced to choose between paying their
rent or feeding their families." says Katharine Schmidt, Executive
Director, Food Banks Canada. "Programs such as these are essential to
maintain and expand in order to reduce the need for food banks in the
Across the food bank network, local food banks raised the concern that
the uncertainty related to the future funding of these two key programs
could affect the ability of communities to effectively implement
housing initiatives and put more people at risk of losing their
housing. Food Banks Canada recognized the importance of these programs
for Canadians in need and made it a priority policy recommendation for
the government to ensure funding beyond 2014.
Budget 2013 also introduced the creation of the First-Time Donor's Super
Credit to encourage more Canadians to give to charity. The proposed
Super Credit would increase the Charitable Tax Credit for donations
made by individuals who have not claimed the credit since 2007.
"The Super Credit will provide an enticing opportunity for more
Canadians to donate to their local food bank if they haven't already
done so." said Katharine Schmidt. "Food banks across the country
continue to struggle to raise enough money to keep their doors open.
We believe this credit is a step in the right direction to provide food
banks with a new tool with which to seek out new donors."
Food Banks Canada has developed a number of other policy recommendations
and will continue to work closely with the government to address high
levels of household food insecurity and take steps to reverse the trend
of rising food bank use. Other key actions include better training
opportunities for those who don't qualify for Employment Insurance and
better pensions for seniors.
For more information about the HungerCount 2012 report, please visit: www.foodbankscanada.ca/hungercount
About Food Banks Canada
Food Banks Canada is the national charitable organization representing
the food bank community across Canada. Our Members, Affiliate Member
food banks, and their respective agencies serve approximately 85% of
people accessing emergency food programs nationwide. Our mission is to
meet the short-term need for food and find long-term solutions to
reduce hunger. Please visit www.foodbankscanada.ca for more information.
SOURCE: Food Banks Canada
For further information:
Marzena Gersho, Food Banks Canada,
(647) 242-5919 (mobile)
(416) 203-9241, ext. 228 (office)