CBC forum: Why do we still need food banks in a province like B.C.?
CBC forum will look at food banks and food insecurity Nov. 15; tickets are free
There are nearly 100 food banks across B.C. and they are being pushed to their limits: is this a failure of charity or a failure of policy?
Paul Taylor of the Gordon Neighbourhood House community service organization suggests it's the latter.
Food banks are an essential lifeline for more than 100,000 British Columbians who struggle with food security, but Taylor says they are becoming entrenched and aren't enough to solve problems of poverty.
- Greater Vancouver Food bank trying to gather 100,000 pounds of canned goods in 1 weekend
- Food price increase hurts low-income households says food bank
- B.C. food banks call for more government action on poverty
"There are a number of people accessing food banks that are working full time," he said. "It's pretty absurd that people earning a wage in a city aren't earning enough to live in that city."
Taylor says governments need to take a serious look at why people are accessing food banks. He says those reasons include underemployment, too-low wages, insufficient welfare rates and the amount people are paying for housing.
Free panel discussion open to public
Taylor will join five other panelists on Tuesday, Nov. 15, for a public discussion on the role of food banks in B.C. and what can be done to reduce the need for them.
Those panelists include:
- Doris Chow, manager of the Downtown Eastside Kitchen Tables Project and Potluck Cafe Society
- Peter Fassbender, minister of community, sport and cultural development
- Trish Garner of the B.C. Poverty Reduction Coalition
- Marilyn Hermann, executive director of the Surrey Food Bank
- Laura Lansink, executive director of Food Banks B.C.
Stephen Quinn, host of CBC Radio One's On The Coast will moderate the free event at St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church (1022 Nelson Street, Vancouver) which is open to the public. You can get tickets here.
The event runs from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. PT. Doors open at 7 p.m.