The second theme for Hunger Action Month is ADVOCATE
While the term “advocacy” may seem like a buzzword, we see it as a catalyst for change.
Advocacy involves championing a cause, raising awareness, educating, and pushing for change. In the context of our work, we advocate for systemic solutions to address food insecurity – it’s at the heart of what we do.
With an ambitious north-star goal to end food insecurity in Ottawa by 2050, our approach is rooted in collaboration and the understanding that poverty is the root cause of food insecurity: low wages, low social assistance rates, precarious work, poor health, and the high cost of food and housing combine to create an environment where food insecurity thrives.
As our CEO puts it,
Collaboration is key. We actively engage with the network of over 100 member agency food programs across the city, staff, volunteers, like-minded organizations, and people with lived experience. We also engage with elected officials and policymakers as we recognize the pivotal role these discussions play in working together to amplify the voices of those affected by food insecurity, and in shaping informed policy decisions.
Most recently, we spoke to the City of Ottawa’s Finance and Corporate Services Committee to discuss the proposed acquisition of 1245 Kilborn Place for permanent supportive housing. In Ottawa, nearly 50% of individuals relying on food programs report paying market-rate rent prices.
This highlights a significant concern: just because someone is housed doesn’t mean they won’t face the challenge of food insecurity.
Get Involved: How can you get involved and advocate for the elimination of food insecurity?
Learn about food insecurity in our city by reading the most recent Ottawa Hunger Report. Understanding food insecurity in our communities is the first step to advocate effectively.
Spread the Word:
Your voice matters!
A great way to start is by asking why ending food insecurity is important to you.
Use your voice and share your thoughts with your peers to raise awareness about food insecurity and the need for change. Sharing stories and facts can inspire action.
Join the Stop the Clawbacks MPP Campaign:
You can make a difference by participating in Feed Ontario’s Stop the Clawbacks campaign, which advocates for an end to clawbacks on earned income and benefits for social assistance recipients by sending an email to your MPP.
Last year, 43% of individuals relying on food programs within the Ottawa Food Bank’s network cited social assistance, including Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), as their primary household income source.
Clawbacks on earned income and benefits, such as those from OW and ODSP, take funds away from people, locking them in a relentless cycle of poverty.