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Over 4 million Canadians lack reliable access to healthy food
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 2, 2019 – Maple Leaf Foods and the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security (“the Centre”) today launched a campaign aimed at raising awareness and further political action to provide food security for all Canadians. As part the #unCanadian campaign, three new compelling video vignettes about food insecurity have been released and the Centre is pushing federal political candidates and parties to address this social and health crisis.
In a country as affluent as Canada, with the set of social values that are embraced, everyone should have the ability to access the food they need to live a healthy, dignified life. The fact that more than 4 million Canadians struggle to feed themselves and their families goes against everything Canada stands for. It is #unCanadian.
Food insecurity is widespread, affecting one in eight households, including one in six children. This is not a food availability issue, it is a poverty issue, which disproportionately impacts low income households and minority group populations. Indigenous and Black households are two and a half times more likely to face hunger and over 70 percent of kids in Nunavut live in households that struggle to have enough food. Its impact is pervasive; over 60 percent of food insecure Canadians are in the workforce and almost 40 percent of post-secondary students are food insecure.
“Canadians like to think of ourselves as being equitable, inclusive and caring,” said Michael McCain, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods and Honorary Chair, Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security. “We like to think of Canada as a place where all people can thrive. So, it’s shocking that in one of the richest countries in the world, over four million people can’t meet the most basic need to reliably feed themselves or their families. This is intolerable, and we need to do more. Surely in a country as affluent as Canada, people shouldn’t have to depend on charity to meet their most basic need for good food.”
The #unCanadian campaign aims to raise the awareness of food insecurity in Canada and to push for more action on this critical social issue. Visit feedopportunity.com to watch videos to see how this issue is affecting Canadians and download questions that can be asked of local candidates. Additionally, please join the conversation on social media using #unCanadian, and by following @feedopportunity and @mapleleaf on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security
The Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security (the Centre) is a registered charity committed to working collaboratively, across sectors, to reduce food insecurity in Canada by 50% by 2030. The Centre advocates for critical public policies and works with innovative food-based programs that advance the capacity of people and communities to achieve sustainable food security.
The Centre was created in 2016 and is governed by a board of directors, including four independent experts. Since its inception, Maple Leaf has contributed a minimum of 1% pre-tax profits annually to support the Centre and other community investments, totalling over $10 million in financial contributions and gifts-in-kind. The Centre builds on its strong connection with Maple Leaf, enabling greater public awareness, volunteer participation and skills matching to increase capacity in community-based organizations.
Media Contact: Monique Marozzo, 1-888-995-5030,firstname.lastname@example.org; Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security Contact: Sarah Stern, Sarah.Stern@mapleleaf.com