TORONTO, Dec. 15 /CNW/ - The CAW is donating a total of $135,000 to 45 food banks in communities across the country, at a time when food bank use has reached record levels.
According to Food Banks Canada, a total of 867,948 Canadians used a food bank in March 2010, a dramatic increase from 2009 when 794,738 Canadians used a food bank. The previous all-time high was in 2004 with 803,335 users in 2004. In 2010, children and youth made up 38 per cent of those turning to food banks for help.
"This dramatic increase in food bank use is a terrible sign that the economy is in fact not turning around for hundreds of thousands of Canadians," said CAW President Ken Lewenza. "Going to a food bank is a last resort, so this huge increase should be a warning that there are likely tens of thousands of other Canadians on the verge of losing their homes, being evicted or not having enough to feed themselves or their families.
"In a developed country like Canada, there is absolutely no reason for us failing to have a comprehensive and aggressive anti-poverty strategy," said Lewenza. "Without a concerted effort from every level of government, I fear we will never see a meaningful change in the poverty rate in our country. It is incumbent upon us all, union members and none, to push our elected officials to reverse this awful trend towards a widening gap between the rich and the poor."
Starting this week, CAW leadership and staff are making the cheque presentations to community food banks from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador.
CAW Council, (the Parliament of the CAW), and the CAW Social Justice Fund have partnered to provide the $135,000 donation.
For further information: For further information:
contact CAW Communications, John McClyment, 416-495-3766 or CAW International Department Director Annie Labaj, 416-402-8045