The Government of Ontario issued its call for pre-budget submissions for the 2024 Ontario Budget. Feed Ontario has provided a written submission to the Minister of Finance that details the investments we would like included in the 2024 Ontario Budget. Below is a summary of our requests; the full submission can be found in the link above.

Ontario is in an economic crisis

More Ontarians are falling into economic crisis, with 1 in 19 people in this province relying upon food banks to simply put food on the table. Food bank use grew by 38 per cent over the previous year, which is the largest single-year increase on record, and double the increase that followed the 2008 recession. Ontarians’ need for emergency food assistance is outpacing the capacity of food banks across the province. Some food banks have already been forced to reduce service or even close completely, and concern is rising about the potential for a network collapse.

The Government of Ontario must take urgent action to prioritize the economic security of working and vulnerable Ontarians to prevent even bigger problems, including a rapid increase in homelessness and higher healthcare costs. While every Ontarian is feeling the pressure of the rising cost of living, it is those who were already in an economically precarious position that must now turn to food banks to survive, and therefore deserve particular focus and assistance in this budget.

Feed Ontario’s budget submission

In order to assist the more than 800,000 people who are struggling to put food on the table, Feed Ontario has made the following recommendations to the Government of Ontario for inclusion in the 2024 Budget.

To better support Ontario workers:

  1. Increase the monthly earned income clawback exemption for Ontario Works from $200 to $1,000 to match that of the Ontario Disability Support Program.
  2. Treat income from Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, and Workers Safety Insurance Board the same as earned income for social assistance.
  3. Increase investments in worker protection, including the enforcement of existing labour laws and recovery of stolen wages.

To better support vulnerable Ontarians:

  1. Commit to treating the Canada Disability Benefit as a top-up to social assistance, not a cost-savings measure.
  2. Incrementally increase social assistance rates: first to account for inflation since 2018, then to account for inflation since 1996, and finally to the poverty line.
  3. Combine the basic needs and shelter portions of social assistance into a single flat rate.
  4. Increase investments in housing programs to match spending from previous years and build more social, affordable, and supportive housing.
  5. Increase investment in Student Nutrition Programs.
  6. Increase investment in non-profit organizations.


This submission has been endorsed by 141 Feed Ontario food bank members.

Read Feed Ontario’s full pre-budget submission.

Contact Your MPP

Ask your MPP to support Feed Ontario’s budget recommendations by sending them an email using the form below.