In every community in BC, food banks are struggling to meet the complex nutritional needs of the diverse population they serve: working people, single parents, people living with disabilities, seniors, and the addicted and/or mentally ill, many of whom are still inadequately housed.
Thirty years ago in Canada, food banks did not exist. The social safety net Canadians began to put in place after the Great Depression and Second World War ensured that most people had adequate income support and affordable housing. Soup kitchens were enough temporary support for the mostly unemployable men who had fallen through the gaps. Today, dependence on food banks is a reality for a growing segment of our region’s population.
All levels of government need to work together and accept responsibility to provide policy leadership to feed, clothe and house all our citizens to an adequate standard.
The Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee recommends that Council support the enclosed resolution to encourage the provincial and federal governments to ensure food security for all citizens and eliminate the need for food banks by 2018 by adopting a National Food Strategy that coordinates the National, Provincial and Municipal roles and responsibilities for food security.
Saanich Councillor and
Chair, Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee
Whereas income security and food security are inextricably bound; and
Whereas the number of people who are food insecure in municipalities in BC continues to rise in spite of an ever-growing number of food banks and charitable food-redistribution efforts; and
Whereas Canada is obligated under international law to provide an adequate standard of living which includes the human right to adequate food and nutrition; and
Whereas enabling people to feed themselves with dignity requires everyone’s participation, and the most comprehensive way to do this is for all levels of government to accept their responsibilities to develop policies and programs that will end hunger in Canada;
Be it resolved that the Municipality of Saanich pledges to encourage the provincial and federal governments to ensure food security for all citizens and eliminate the need for food banks by 2018 by adopting a National Food Strategy that coordinates the National, Provincial and Municipal roles and responsibilities for food security.
Be it further resolved that Saanich will continue to ensure a healthy, sustainable and stable food supply by actively pursuing policies 1 through 19 of Section 5.1.1 of the Official Community Plan – http://www.saanich.ca/living/community/ocp/ocp_adopted_jul808_amended_may1710.pdf