In 2022, Feed Ontario commemorates 30 years of feeding communities. This is not a celebration. While 30 years is a noteworthy milestone, and Ontario’s food bank network has achieved many incredible things during this time, the ongoing existence and further institutionalisation of food banks is not something to celebrate.
Food banks began as a temporary, stop-gap measure to help families struggling to put food on the table as a result of a recession. We were never intended to still be here 30 years later. And we hope we won’t be needed in another 30 years.
In an acknowledgement of the milestone, Feed Ontario launched a year-long “unCelebration” at our annual food bank conference on June 6, 2022. Throughout the year we will commemorate our history, recognize the incredible achievements of our network of food banks and partners, and reaffirm our commitment to end the need for food banks.
- 592,000 people visited Ontario food banks more than 3.6 million times last year. This represents a significant increase in food bank use across Ontario.
- One in three visitors is a child
- 59 percent of visitors cite social assistance as their primary source of income.
- 60 percent of survey respondents have less than $100 left per month after paying housing costs according to a survey that was done in September.
- Ontario has the highest proportion of minimum wage workers in Canada and the percentage of Ontario workers being paid minimum wage has tripled over the last 20 years, now representing 15 percent of Ontario’s workforce.
- Many working Ontarians rely on food banks to make ends meet. Between 2017 and 2020, the proportion of individuals accessing food banks that cited employment as their primary source of income increased by 44 percent.