Today the Ontario Association of Food Banks released a statement on the announcement made by the Government of Ontario regarding the Basic Income Pilot and Ontario’s social assistance programs.

“Yesterday afternoon, the Government of Ontario announced its plans to terminate the Basic Income Pilot, as well as reduce the planned increase to Ontario’s social assistance programs by 50 percent. The Ontario Association of Food Banks is disappointed and alarmed by these unexpected changes and is concerned about the impact that it will have on low-income Ontarians.

Food banks across the province have long advocated for increases to Ontario’s social assistance programs and the continuation of the Basic Income Pilot as an evidence-based solution to poverty in our province. The enactment of these cuts would be a step backwards in our collective effort to create a healthier and hunger-free Ontario.”

Food Banks Use in Ontario:

  • 499,415 people accessed food banks in Ontario between April 1st, 2016 and March 1st, 2017, with 33 per cent (or 166,703) being children
  • 90 per cent of food bank clients are either rental or social housing tenants
  • 68 per cent of clients cite social or income assistance as their primary source of income
  • Ontario Works provides individuals with $721 per month, Ontario Disability Support Program provides $1,151 per month. In a sample of ten cities, the average one-bedroom apartment would require between 70 to over 100 per cent of this monthly income.
  • 171,000 households are currently on Ontario’s affordable housing wait list, with 32 per cent being seniors. The wait time is approximately four years.
  • The Ontario Association of Food Banks recommends an immediate increase to Ontario’s current social assistance programs alongside investments in affordable housing


About Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB)

The Ontario Association of Food Banks is the province’s leading provider of emergency food support to frontline hunger-relief agencies and the leader in province-wide hunger research. Our mission is to strengthen communities by providing food banks with food, resources, and solutions that address both short and long-term food insecurity. For every $1 donated, the Ontario Association of Food Banks can provide the equivalent of 3 meals to someone in need.

For more information, please contact:

Amanda King | Ontario Association of Food Banks | | 416-656-4100