NDP Poverty and Homelessness Reduction critic Chandra Pasma (Ottawa West—Nepean) says skyrocketing food bank use underscores the need for government action to address poverty and the affordability crisis in Ontario.
“Ontarians are finding it harder and harder to put food on the table for their families. Each month, thousands of people are turning to food banks for the first time because their wages don’t stretch far enough to cover all the basics. Ontario’s affordability crisis is getting worse, families are scrambling to keep up as housing, groceries, child care, and other essentials become more expensive and further out of reach.
Food banks do incredible work in our communities, and we’re seeing them rise to the challenge by feeding more people than ever, but food banks are not the solution to the crisis we’re in. Ontario families need real policy changes to keep them out of poverty. That includes a living wage and fair social assistance rates that don’t force people into deep poverty.
The Ford government must take accountability and finally act to relieve food insecurity and other affordability pressures people are facing. Ford must raise minimum wage to a living wage of $20 per hour, and raise OW and ODSP rates well above his promise of a meager five per cent. Poverty and food insecurity are a result of policy choices — Ford must choose to lift people out of poverty, not keep them there.”
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