Food Insecurity in Toronto: Who’s Hungry 2023 Report Reveals Alarming Trends

The Daily Bread Food Bank and North York Harvest Food Bank have released the annual Who’s Hungry report, shedding light on the deepening crisis of food insecurity in Toronto. The report reveals that one in 10 Torontonians now relies on food banks for sustenance.

The statistics presented are alarming. Over the past year, Toronto witnessed a staggering 51% increase in client visits to food banks, reaching a total of 2.53 million visits. If this trend persists, the city is projected to see a record three million visits by year-end.

Rising housing costs, food inflation, stagnant wages, and inadequate income support mechanisms have combined to plunge an increasing number of households into dire poverty, states Neil Hetherington, CEO of Daily Bread Food Bank. Hetherington emphasizes the urgency for immediate government intervention.

“Food is a human right and immediate government action is needed to ensure that every person in our city can live a life of dignity,” he said.

From Who’s Hungry 2023

Key findings from the report highlight a significant drop in the amount of money, a mere $6.67 per person per day, available to food bank clients after paying rent and utilities. 

Disturbingly, over 120,000 new individuals sought food bank assistance in the past year — a 154% surge compared to the previous year, with 52% of them having employed members in their households.

The report also underscores the precarious financial situation of food bank clients with disabilities, with 61% relying on social assistance, leaving them at least $1,000 below the poverty line each month.

Related: Inflation and Gaps in Support Drive Record Food Bank Usage in Canada

In response to these stark realities, the heads of the Daily Bread Food Bank and North York Harvest Food Bank are calling for urgent government action.

They advocate for the swift implementation of a Canada Disability Benefit by 2025 and the commitment of the Government of Ontario to construct a minimum of 300,000 permanently affordable and supportive homes over the next decade, with at least 50,000 in Toronto. 

Additionally, they call on the City of Toronto to incorporate concrete actions and funding in its forthcoming Poverty Reduction Strategy Action Plan to tackle food insecurity and enhance resilience in community food programs. 

Information for this story was found via Who’s Hungry 2023 report, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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