We have not come a very long way in the last 200 years. Poverty plagues us still.
For many who stand in line at one of this country’s 4,000 food banks, it is a fact of life made grimmer by the inability of the rest of us to socially engineer even one day free of humiliating hunger for so many.
A nation-wide “Hunger Count,” just made public, has found that more than 850,000 Canadians are turning to food banks each month. Food bank use reached about 670,000 individuals in March 2008, spiked drastically in 2009 and has hovered at record levels ever since.
A most alarming finding is that an increasing number of food bank patrons are seniors. The Hunger Count reveals that seven per cent of Canadian households helped by food banks live primarily on income from a pension.
The report is based in part on food bank visits in March of each year. In B.C., there were more than 100,000 individuals dependent on food banks this past March, a 28 per cent increase since 2008 and almost 3,000 more hungry people than in March 2014. Children account for 31 per cent of food bank visits. Almost 60 per cent of B.C.’s food banks reported an increase in business.
The “Hunger Count” – it has an ominous ring doesn’t it? Especially at this time of year when “want is most keenly felt and abundance rejoices.”
– Oak Bay News