Ottawa South is one of the top 10 ridings for food bank use in Ontario. It’s unthinkable that in a country as rich as ours, and in a city as prosperous as the nation’s capital, that so many are facing persistent food insecurity.
Being unable to stock the fridge isn’t about access to food—it’s the canary in the coal mine for many other issues. Families, students, and retirees who are struggling to make ends meet slash their food budgets to try and make sure there’s enough money left for big expenses like rent. When people are going hungry in our community, it points to larger problems: a lack of affordable housing, stagnant and inadequate wages, and underdeveloped social programs.
We need to address the growing problem of food insecurity in Ottawa South and across the country. But we can’t do it without tackling the root problems that leave members of our community unable to afford to put food on the table. Canada needs an ambitious social housing strategy and a federal minimum wage that lifts all workers out of poverty.