A Predictable Emergency

EMERGENCY: a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.

A Predictable Emergency is based on research The Stop conducted with graduate students from the University of Toronto in February 2015. We surveyed 211 people who use our Food Bank (14% of our total membership) to understand how much money they have to spend on food, and what they do once their three-day food hamper runs out.

The results speak to desperately low incomes and persistent food insecurity for people using food banks in Canada. Food insecurity happens because of a lack of adequate income, and hunger is normalized:

  • 80% of people reported a yearly income of less than $20,000.
  • 12% reported having no money at all to spend on food.
  • 52% skip a meal at least once a month and 24% don’t eat for an entire day at least once a month, BUT ONLY 25% reported experiencing moderate food insecurity.

It’s time to look beyond the predictable results that come from “emergency responses.” The Stop calls on the federal government to explore basic income as a more effective and dignified way of addressing hunger and poverty in Canada.

Food Secure Canada’s #EatThinkVote campaign is about a bold new national food policy, with a goal of zero hunger. As a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, Canada has a duty to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to food. Working with provincial counterparts, our federal government could establish an income floor on which all Canadians can stand.

Download the complete A Predictable Emergency backgrounder.

Join our Food For Thought Telephone Town Hall on Monday September 21st: A Predictable Emergency – Can a basic income end our dependence on food banks?