Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Canada announces $100M in support of food security organizations

April 3, 2020  By Fruit and Vegetable

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $100 million investment in support of national, regional, and local organizations across Canada that are able to reach people and communities experiencing food insecurity.

The investment will be divided among several organizations:

  • Food Banks Canada will receive $50 million
  • $20 million will be divided evenly between four organizations:
    • Second Harvest
    • Community Food Centres Canada
    • Breakfast Club of Canada
    • Salvation Army

These organizations will work with local partners to meet urgent and increased food needs, including those of Indigenous and Northern populations.

The last $30 million will be allocated later to fill the gaps and respond to further needs.

“Many Canadians rely on food banks and local food organizations to feed their families and find support in hard times. Now, with more Canadians turning to these supports, and donations and available volunteers decreasing, they need our help more than ever. Today, we are giving food agencies the support they need to keep helping Canadians through this difficult time,” said Prime Minsiter Trudeau in a released statement.

This funding will be used to purchase food and other basic necessities. It will help these organizations find new, creative ways to reach people in need, so they can continue to carry out their important work while respecting physical distancing guidelines. They will be able to use the funding to buy or rent equipment and other materials to help address the unique needs of the communities they serve and the health-related challenges presented by COVID-19.

The list of eligible activities for this new funding include the purchase of food, support for the transportation and distribution of food, hiring temporary help to fill volunteer shortages, and activities to implement biosecurity measures, such as the purchase of personal protective equipment, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among volunteers and clients.

“Food banks and local food organizations are on the front lines making sure people get essential food support in their time of need. I encourage all my fellow Members of Parliament to contact the food security organizations in their region to ensure that the entire country is covered. If necessary, other networks will be added to the list of partners,” said Minister of Agriculture Marie-Claude Bibeau in a released statement.

On a regular basis, millions of Canadians are food insecure meaning they do not have access to a sufficient variety or quantity of food. In 2019, there were 1.1 million visits to food banks and 5.6 million meals served on average each month. It is expected that visits to food banks will increase significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic and increasing need for their services is having a major impact on the operations of local food organizations. Food banks are adapting by boosting their efforts to find younger volunteers, minimize interpersonal contact and offer home deliveries.

Today’s announced funding will be delivered through the Government of Canada’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund.

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