Frequently Asked Questions
We are currently running an urgent appeal in response to our Indigenous partner communities expressing an urgent need for food support. This appeal has raised questions from our donors, which we have answered below:
WHY IS THERE FOOD INSECURITY IN CANADA?
According to Statistics Canada, food insecurity affects 1.15 million -- or one in six -- Canadian children under age 18. That number has been on the rise since 2007.
Household food insecurity is strongly linked to poverty in Canada. Seventy per cent of households who rely on social assistance in Canada are food insecure. But it also greatly affects a significant portion of the Canadian workforce. Sixty per cent of food-insecure households rely on wages and salaries as their main source of income. Families working low-wage jobs simply can’t earn enough to put good food on the table.
WHY ARE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES HIT HARDER BY FOOD INSECURITY?
It is estimated that 78 per cent of Indigenous households have difficulty putting enough food on the table.
Indigenous communities in Canada face significant and ongoing challenges since European colonizers arrived on Indigenous territories. The loss of land rights, outlawing of Indigenous practices and languages, and discrimination towards Indigenous people have perpetuated a food insecurity crisis with serious implications for health and well-being.
The legacy of residential schools, where children were taken forcibly from their homes, is just one example of the deliberate destruction of Indigenous culture, language and identity.
These injustices have been compounded by the ongoing loss of rights to traditional territories and resources, and public opinion, laws and regulations that continue to make engaging in traditional practices difficult, and put significant pressure on Indigenous hunting and fishing.
With the loss of traditional food access and practices, many Indigenous families turn to commercial grocery stores where they are often met with high prices for nutritious food, particularly in remote areas. Without significant economic opportunity, or benefit from traditional territories’ natural resources, the cycle of poverty and food insecurity is difficult to overcome.
WHY IS THIS APPEAL BEING LAUNCHED NOW? IS THIS RELATED TO THE RECENT DISCOVERY IN KAMLOOPS?
We are saddened by the news from Kamloops, and express our condolences for Residential School Survivors and to the families and communities affected by the IRS system and this devastating confirmation. For those who need additional support, The National Residential School Crisis Line for former students can be accessed at 1-866-925-4419.
This appeal has come out at this time as our Indigenous partner communities have expressed an urgent need for food support for children in Indigenous communities. Because of the lockdowns from COVID-19, children in Indigenous communities are missing out on school meals due to school closures - and they need urgent support.
HOW HAS COVID-19 EXACERBATED FOOD INSECURITY FOR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES?
The lockdowns brought from COVID-19 have brought unprecedented challenges for our partner communities. Children often relied on the school meal program - sometimes 100 per cent of children in the school received daily meals. But when schools closed, the school meal programs stopped and families needed to provide those extra meals. The double burden of rising food costs and rising unemployment is proving to be challenged for many Indigenous families.
Coupled with the fact that many Indigenous communities do not have a grocery store, and some families don’t have a vehicle to travel to shop, along with roads being closed to travel halting grocery deliveries, has pushed some communities to the brink.
WHAT IS CFTC DOING TO INCREASE FOOD SECURITY FOR INDIGNEOUS COMMUNITIES?
Canadian Feed The Children has been working with partner Indigenous communities across Canada for almost 30 years. We have long standing partnerships with 27 Indigenous communities in Canada. Our Indigenous partners take the lead on programming and regularly work together towards increasing food security, community resilience and traditional knowledge through land-based education, ancestral gathering methods and community food work.
WHERE WILL MY DONATION GO?
Donations made towards this appeal are distributed to our Indigenous partners across Canada to those who need it most. Your donation will be used towards good food boxes that deliver healthy food to households and ensure children who no longer have access to school meal programs have enough to eat. As well, donations will be used to support local initiatives such as community gardens and traditional fishing and hunting, which supplement food supplies during these difficult times. When schools re-open, donations will go towards helping our partners provide the high demand of school breakfasts and lunches.