Your help is urgently needed as follows.
Hunger situation: CRITICAL
PUT FOOD IN THE BUDGET
Join Bishop Linda Nicholls to urge Ontario’s government to include a $100/month Healthy Food Supplement for social assistance recipients in the 2011 Ontario budget
RALLY at Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
10 a.m.,Thursday March 10, 2011
Over 80 Anglican parishes representing over 30,000 Anglicans have backed this call, along with people in 30 communities across Ontario. Add your voice!
Sponsored by the Anglican Diocese of Toronto and Put Food in the Budget
ONTARIO BUDGET COUNTDOWN:
GOVERNMENT MUST PUT FOOD IN THE BUDGET
As Budget Day draws near for Ontario, thousands of citizens are stepping up their call on the government to help Ontario’s poorest citizens through a $100 per month Healthy Food Supplement for social assistance recipients. Supporters of the supplement, including Anglican Bishop Linda Nicholls, will gather at Finance Minister Duncan’s office Building (Frost Building – 7 Queen’s Park Crescent East ) on March 10, at 10 a.m. to voice this demand. Representatives of all three parties are invited.
“Social assistance rates have been nearly flatlined in Ontario for close to two decades,” says Anglican Archbishop Colin Johnson. “It has become impossible for a person on social assistance to afford both shelter and adequate food, and many are living with shocking levels of hunger and malnutrition. People need to be able to buy decent food.”
More than 80 Anglican parishes, representing over 30,000 church members in the GTA and nearby region, passed motions at recent church meetings to support the proposal. The Food Supplement proposal is gaining support in other ways, especially through the Put Food in the Budget coalition, which has supporters in 30 Ontario communities.
Props at the rally will represent the kind of food that food banks are able to supply (Kraft Dinner, Wonder Bread), and the fruits and vegetables that people could buy with $100 per month.
“Single people receiving Ontario welfare have only $592 per month for housing, food and everything else – it is impossible to eat, let alone afford healthy food, on that income” says Mike Balkwill, coordinator for Put Food in the Budget. “Even Finance Minister Dwight Duncan told us that ‘a person can’t function on social assistance.’ Minister Duncan should ensure people with the lowest incomes have enough to eat before he ‘feeds’ Ontario corporations with another tax break.”
“We don’t accept the argument that Ontario can’t afford to help the poor,” says Bishop Linda Nicholls. “That’s a morally bankrupt position. We live in a wealthy society. This is a modest proposal, costing less than one percent of the annual provincial budget, which will have the added benefit of boosting spending at local businesses. We urge our government to do the right thing, and put food in the budget for our most vulnerable citizens.”
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