Put Food in the Budget campaign – World Hunger Day on Tuesday May 28

May 31, 2013

The Put Food in the Budget campaign organized a unique event to recognize World Hunger Day on Tuesday May 28.

The Put Food in the Budget campaign has learned over the course of our campaign that hundreds of thousands of people are hungry at every stage of life in Ontario because their income is too low. They don’t have enough money to pay the rent and buy food.

Front line workers from public service unions and student, worker and volunteer associations told an audience of high school students about people they serve that do not have enough income to provide nutritious food to their families.

The over-riding message from these stories is that people in Ontario now can literally be ‘Hungry for Life’. ‘Hungry for life’ has two meanings. Young people in high school are on the brink of beginning their adult lives. We all want our young people to thrive and to be hopeful about the future. We want them to be ‘hungry for life’ – we don’t want them to feel hopeless or to fear the future. In workshops this afternoon we will talk about the reality of poverty in Ontario, and talk about how together we might ‘unveil opportunities for hope’.

Diego, a student in the audience, responded to the panel’s presentation by saying ‘We all need to eat, food is a human right.’

The Ontario government does not have a serious strategy to end poverty in Ontario. The proposed welfare reforms in the recent Ontario budget are neither fundamental nor far-reaching as some would have us believe. The current rates for social assistance and the current minimum wage in Ontario ensure that people in Ontario with low incomes will continue to starve.

Premier Wynne’s proposed welfare reforms are inadequate. Premier Wynne must

‘Put Food in the Budget’ by raising social assistance rates and raising the minimum wage to ensure people have enough money to buy healthy food without relying on food banks.


The Toronto Star published two articles on the Put Food in the Budget event.

You can read them here.

Toronto students learn local connection with World Hunger Day –

Toronto high school students get lesson in the politics of hunger


That first meeting

Poverty Stakeholders Meeting

July 31, 2012  3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Lee Manor Auditorium

Session Guidelines



Listen for the nugget of truth

Look for possibility

It’s okay to disagree

One person at a time

Speak from an authentic place

“What would it take for us to create a sustainable network of supports within our community?”

Communication among groups

Educating each other and Awareness:

  • accurate information from the right source
  • at the front line
  • Respect/equality

Shared value – What does it mean to help?  Shared assumptions/philosophy?

Integration vs segregation/separation

Real partnership

Integrated neighbourhoods

Leverage expertise

TRUST – two worlds:  faith & social services

Focus on shared vision

“Keep the main thing the main thing”   . Clients’ best interest

Shared language – common language


Right people at the table (mental health)

Interagency groups

Faith and Social Services need to unite – joint vision, core values for whole community; know one another – reach out

Recognize limitation   where collaboration and awareness ????

Learn from our past successes

Community-based, relationships-based, scaled appropriately

Can we agree on what we agree on?

What is the shared vision?

Draft vision statements from break-out groups:

  1. To engage the community through people enabling people by providing resources and services to ‘alleviate’ poverty.
  2. A network that respectfully supports the community’s right to facilitate self-determination through acceptance and support.
  3. Having a shared interest and united front toward a common goal.
  4. To establish a connected community group/service to include those living in poverty – working to improve lives within the community, while ensuring the services are accessible, affordable, humanitarian, equitable, and provides choice.
  5. People-centred respect which happens through communication, filling the gaps and broadening the service base.

where we interconnect