Dear Premier Ford,
Right now, nearly 10% of Ontarians are living in poverty — and even more are living with food insecurity. In Toronto alone, one in five households struggle to put food on the table.
Even as we emerge from COVID-19 lockdowns, food bank visits remain at record-highs. At the current rate, 2021 will see the highest number of food bank visits in Toronto ever recorded. Organizations like Daily Bread Food Bank have had to grow their reach in new communities throughout Toronto to support more people than ever before.
But food insecurity in a wealthy province like Ontario is more than a matter of material need — it is a matter of justice. Race, disability, and immigration status intersect with poverty, leading to disproportionately high rates of hunger within marginalized communities. This is unjust and unacceptable.
As Canada’s richest province, Ontario has a responsibility to address chronic food insecurity right now, ensuring that all Ontarians have equitable and regular access to healthy food.
Today, I urge you to include strong commitments in Ontario’s 2020-2025 poverty reduction strategy by:
- Committing to reducing poverty by 50% by 2030;
- Committing to reporting race-based data on poverty; and
- Measuring food insecurity annually according to the federal government’s Household Food Security Survey method.
No one should ever go hungry in our province. We need bold policy changes to address chronic food insecurity by tackling its root cause: poverty. I call on Ontario to show leadership now — and to act without delay.
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