Ontario's Food Banks present plan to cut poverty in half by 2020

    OAFB submits recommendations to the government's Cabinet Committee on
    Poverty Reduction

    TORONTO, Aug. 19 /CNW/ - The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB)
released a new report today, entitled Our Choice for a Better Ontario, in
response to a call for submissions from the provincial government's Cabinet
Committee on Poverty Reduction. The report sets a goal of cutting poverty in
half by 2020 through a renewed investment by the federal and provincial
    "We believe that now is the time to be bold," says Adam Spence, Executive
Director of the OAFB. "Given tough economic times and disproportionately high
levels of poverty, we cannot focus on short-term efficiency and risk
management. We must look long-term towards our collective progress and
    The report includes thirty key recommendations for reducing poverty in
Ontario. Some of the key recommendations include:

    -  ensuring that every Ontarian has a comfortable and affordable place to
       live by 2020 by improving the affordability of market housing with a
       new housing allowance program for all low-income Ontarians, and
       building 100,000 new units of affordable housing by 2020;
    -  ensuring that all Ontarians have economic security through adequate
       benefits and protections by indexing adult and child benefit rates to
       a low-income inflation index, and lowering eligibility requirements
       for the Employment Insurance (EI) program;
    -  fostering opportunity for economic and political empowerment by
       guaranteeing child care and education for single parents living in
       poverty, and creating a Canadian Experience Initiative that will
       provide new Canadians with an opportunity to gain marketable work
       experience; and
    -  ensuring public responsibility through a high level government
       commitment that includes goals and targets with annual progress
       reports to all Ontarians, and a public declaration committing leaders
       across the province, including mayors, community leaders, opposition
       parties and the provincial government to the shared responsibility of
       reducing poverty in Ontario.

    "When food banks began in the early eighties, it was ordinary citizens
making a choice. We chose to make sure that our neighbours were able to put
food on their tables. Twenty years later, we think it is time for all
Ontarians to make a new choice," added Spence. "We believe that we can cut
poverty in half by 2020. The choice is up to us."
    If you would like to access a copy of the report, please visit

    The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) is a network of over 100
food banks including communities across the province from Ottawa to Windsor,
and Niagara Falls to Thunder Bay.

For further information:

For further information: Adam Spence, Executive Director, Ontario
Association of Food Banks (OAFB), T: (416) 656-4100, C: (416) 543-0897, E:

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Ontario Association of Food Banks

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