Building a Better Ontario

The Ontario Association of Food Banks recognizes that hunger is a symptom of poverty. Food banks exist across this province, not because there is a lack of food, but because many individuals do not have access to a sufficient income that allows them to afford all of their basic necessities.

Long-term policy solutions are key to not only ending hunger, but alleviating poverty – but these require time and collaboration from community leaders and all levels of government. The Ontario Association of Food Banks regularly meets with community stakeholders and political representatives to discuss its policy recommendations for addressing hunger and poverty. 


Recommendations for Change

Increase Affordable Housing

The average food bank client spends over 70% of their income on housing, putting them at high risk of homelessness and forcing them to make difficult choices, like that between rent and food.

We Recommend: An Ontario Housing Benefit to close the gap between rent and income.

Update Social Assistance

Over 65% of food bank clients list social assistance as their main source of income, but the amount they receive is not sufficient to cover the cost of basic necessities, like food and shelter.

We Recommend:  Raising social assistance rates to pre-1993 levels, before they were cut by 21.6%. 

CREATE Secure Employment

The last decade has seen a rise in precarious jobs with no benefits, unpredictable schedules, and for low wages that put them below the Low-Income Measure. Many Ontarians living paycheque to paycheque turn to food banks to fill the gap.

We Recommend: Creating policies that build our economy and encourages secure employment

Support A Basic Income Experiment

Ontario’s 2016 provincial budget called for a pilot project that will launch by 2017 to look at the viability of a basic income for Ontarians.

We Recommend: The Government of Ontario to deliver on their promise of studying a new model for lifting people out of poverty.

Farmer Tax Credit (Bill 36)

Ontario farmers who donate to local food banks and community meal programs are now eligible to receive a 25% tax credit based on the fair market value of the donated product!

The Ontario Association of Food Banks was instrumental in working with the agricultural community and MPP Bob Bailey (Sarnia-Lambton) to gain support on this initiative, which was passed in 2013 with all-party support.  Ontario is the first province in Canada to offer this tax credit.

 Read Our Fact Sheet

Learn More

Read our blogs on issues affecting food banks in Ontario

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