Editorial: Why are so many hungry in our city?

The numbers of people—and especially families with children—using the food bank has risen again this year.

People are going hungry in Port Alberni, despite the best efforts of countless volunteer organizations, individuals, businesses and service clubs. It’s time to ask ourselves why, and find a way to solve the root problem.

For the past two weeks, we have highlighted breakfast clubs, Read and Feed programs, the backpack program that sends food home with vulnerable students, and countless food drives. In today’s issue we have a story about the Bread of Life wanting to extend their meal service to seven days a week, the need is so great.

The numbers of people—and especially families with children—using the food bank has risen again this year, and the Salvation Army will assemble about 400 hampers for Christmas.

All these efforts are commendable, and unsurprising coming from the ‘community with heart’.

But we must ask, why are all these people going hungry?

What can we do to make sure people, especially our youngest population, gets enough nutrition for them to thrive?

Hunger Canada identifies the root cause of hunger as low income—and as the latest Child Poverty Report notes, Port Alberni has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the province.

This is not just a local problem: Hunger Canada also reports that more than 850,000 people turn to food banks each month—that’s nearly a million people

The conversation on hunger needs to get louder. Do we look at a basic income for everyone, like the BC Green Party is touting? Raising the minimum wage? Those are good starting points.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

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