Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced a $30-million top-up for the Emergency Food Security Fund, bringing total funding under the Fund to $330 million.
This additional investment is aimed at addressing the increased demand and fewer resources faced by food banks and local food organizations, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Food insecurity rates increased over the pandemic, with one in seven Canadian households who have experienced food insecurity over a one-month period during the pandemic.
Funding will be divided between Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest, Breakfast Club of Canada, Community Food Centres Canada, The Salvation Army, and La Tablée des Chefs, who in turn will continue their work to distribute it to thousands of local food organizations across Canada. Local organizations will use the funding to purchase and distribute food and other basic necessities to meet the emergency needs of the most vulnerable people. They may also hire temporary help to cope with volunteer shortages and adapt operations to help keep workers, volunteers and recipients safe.
“Canada’s food banks and local food organizations have done tremendous work over the past year, as the pandemic continues to worsen food insecurity across Canada," said Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. "Our Government is committed to making sure they receive our support so they can continue to put more food on the table for vulnerable Canadians. This extra $30-million investment will help these six vital organizations with established distribution networks to continue to improve access to food for Canadians in need, while also supporting PEI farmers by redirecting surplus potatoes to local food-serving organizations who need them."
Emergency Food Security Fund recipients will use a portion of the funds to purchase surplus Prince Edward Island potatoes and redistribute them to local food serving organizations who have expressed the need for this commodity.
Since it was launched in the opening months of the pandemic, the Emergency Food Security Fund has supported more than 5,000 local food initiatives across Canada, with over 1,100 initiatives directly supporting Indigenous organizations and communities. The Fund has helped to serve healthy, nutritious and culturally diverse meals to millions of people in Canada.