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Posts tagged ‘toronto star’

Liberals Urged to ‘Put Food in the Budget’

Laurie Monsebraaten Social Justice Reporter

Back in 1995, the opposition Liberals scorned the Mike Harris government’s so-called “welfare diet,” which purported to show that a single person on social assistance could eat for $90 a month.

Today that meagre Tory shopping list — which included pasta but no sauce and bread but no butter — costs $48 more. And yet since the Liberals took office in 2003, a single able-bodied person on welfare gets just $29 more in their monthly cheque for food.

“It’s no wonder food bank use in Ontario is soaring,” said social policy expert John Stapleton, who used the 1995 shopping list to buy the welfare diet at a Scarborough discount grocery store in January.

It is one more reason anti-poverty activists across the province are calling on Finance Minister Dwight Duncan to put a $100 monthly food supplement for welfare recipients in this spring’s provincial budget.

On Thursday, the Toronto Anglican Diocese is highlighting the need at a Queen’s Park rally. About 80 area parishes, representing more than 30,000 Anglicans, are backing the call for the Liberals to “put food in the budget.” They will be joined by food activists from other faiths and representatives from 30 other Ontario communities who are also concerned about rising hunger across the province.

To read more, CLICK HERE!


Hunger, Poverty at a ‘Crisis Point’

Isabel Teotonio
Staff Reporter

The only way to stop the growing rate of hunger is by increasing wages, investing in income security programs, providing affordable housing and improving access to community food programs, according to a list of recommendations to be released on Monday.

The Recession Relief Coalition is releasing 10 top recommendations that are key to combatting the troubling rise of hunger in the province. They are geared toward policy-makers at all levels of government.

“Hunger and poverty are at a crisis point,” said Dr. Gary Bloch, a family physician with St. Michael’s Hospital and assistant professor with the University of Toronto, who helped draft the recommendations.

“We are facing the highest levels of food bank use and some of the highest rates of social assistance use ever,” said Bloch, noting his practice is largely comprised of people living below the poverty line and struggling for basic survival.

The recommendations were put together by a six-member panel after a full day of evidence at a hunger inquiry in late November. The panel — which also included a retired minister, celebrity chef and a housing advocate — heard from more than 30 front-line workers, social service agency staff, academics community leaders and people directly affected by hunger. The coalition’s full report is expected in January.

After decades of cutbacks to government revenues, through individual and corporate tax cuts, “a small reversal of these cuts” would provide funds for some basic social insurance programs to fight hunger and poverty, Bloch said.

“We are willing to pump ever-increasing dollars into health care, much of it to treat the health problems caused by high levels of poverty, but we seem unwilling to address the root causes of these problems,” he told the Star.

To read more, CLICK HERE!

In response to this article a fellow campaigner wrote to the Toronto Star….Hmmm – food for thought?

Re:  Hunger, poverty at a ‘crisis point’

I am worried about the illusion created by the big crates full of donated food that we all see in the large grocery stores. The illusion is that this is the kind of food people receive when they go to the foodbank. The reality is that this food makes up only a tiny proportion of the food that people actually receive. Most comes from corporate donations. I use food banks. I just opened a frozen package of wieners and decided I could not even feed them to my dog – they were outdated and spoiled. This is a very common experience. I also never receive enough to get me through a week and the food I get is often high sugar, salt etc. Despite the public’s best intentions and generosity, foodbanks cannot solve the problem of chronic hunger and malnutrition. What we need is government policy and funding to address the reasons people need to go to food banks – like the fact that a single person receives a maximum of $592 from social assistance to live on for a month. I hope that all the people who care enough to donate can also see past the illusion of the overflowing crates and not let our governments hide behind charity and foodbanks as a way to address hunger.


Panhandlers – Free Credit Cards

The Toronto Star published an article yesterday about giving out prepaid credit cards to homeless folks, and the results.

Really?  Because homeless equals dishonest, does it?  Try that trick with anyone, not just homeless people and you’d get similar results.

It’s an extremely rude thing they’ve done.  I don’t care if they are just trying to show that homeless people can be trusted… all this implies is that they doubted it could be done.  Give those credit cards to some politicians, or your regular Joe – test yourself for that matter.  Just because someone is homeless doesn’t mean they are a thief and they can’t be trusted.  Most returned the card, bought food or refused to take the card.  And you know what?  If they took the card and didn’t return it?  They’re hungry!… of course they are going to do that.

This is sickening… and if they think that they’ve proven anything except their own ignorance, they’re wrong.

And yet another link from a friend of mine, published in New York… A Bum You Can Trust…Honest.  What the…. ?  Pfft.

U.S. Issues G20 Travel Alert for Toronto

06/17/2010 Toronto Star

Washington has issued a travel alert for Americans who live in Toronto or plan to visit the city during the G20 summit.

“Previous G20 summits have drawn large numbers of protesters and activists, and a number of groups have announced plans to demonstrate throughout downtown Toronto,” the U.S. State Department warned in its alert. “Even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can become violent and unpredictable. You should avoid them if at all possible.”

The alert also advises U.S. citizens forego travelling in or through downtown Toronto during the summit, anticipating “significant traffic disruption.”

The leaders of the world’s G20 countries will descend on Toronto for the June 26-27 summit and security is tight.

Protests and rallies are expected to begin the week leading up to the summit.

On June 26, thousands are expected to turn out the People First! march, but organizers have vowed that the event will be a peaceful, family affair. However, protest organizers have confirmed that numerous activists and labour union members plan to splinter from the larger demonstration and continue a “militant” march to the security perimeter.

Washington says the travel alert expires June 28.

To read more click HERE

A poor excuse for a food allowance

A poor excuse for a food allowance

The Stop delivers a shot to the gut with its Do The Math campaign

By Corey Mintz Columnist

This is the best carrot I will ever eat. What’s special about it is that I’m hungry and it’s the only vegetable available to me. I ate my other carrot yesterday.

It’s my third day of the Do the Math campaign, an initiative by The Stop Community Food Centre, asking participants to eat only what’s provided in one of its food hampers. The goal of the campaign, which began in August, is to highlight the inadequacy of provincial funding for the food portion of social assistance.

To read more from the Toronto Star, click here!

Poverty Advocates Decry Loss of Diet Allowance

Laurie Monsebraaten
Social Justice Reporter

Ontario is scrapping the Special Diet Allowance that helps people on social assistance pay extra food costs related to specific medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Confirming the pre-budget fears of anti-poverty advocates, the Liberal government cited last fall’s provincial auditor’s report, which found evidence of abuse in the welfare-based program.

Instead, the budget is proposing a new nutritional supplement to be administered by the health ministry.

The allowance program that provides up to $250 per month and helps about one in five people on social assistance “is not sustainable and is not achieving the intended results,” budget documents say.

Click Toronto Star link above for further information.

A test of Ontario’s appetite …

A test of Ontario’s appetite to fight for poverty reduction

Mike Creek 25 in 5 Network for Poverty reduction
Adrianna Tetley Association of Ontario Health Centres
ODSP Action Coalition

Ontario is about to face one of the biggest tests of its commitment to poverty reduction.

Will it comply with an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ruling that says it must end discrimination in its special diet allowance program, or will it target the program for cuts as part of its deficit reduction plan?

Read more here…TORONTO STAR

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