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Hunger Count 2023: When is it enough?

In what feels like an eternity ago, there was a point early on during the pandemic when “building back better” was a common refrain of hope for better times ahead. However, since the end of pandemic-related benefits, there has been a shocking increase in food bank use, which has now reached unthinkable levels. While the last two HungerCount reports should have been heard as blaring alarm bells for governments in our country, it appears that they were ignored. In 2023, there were an unprecedented 1.9 million visits to food banks in March alone–an increase of 32 per cent compared to the previous year, and over 78 per cent compared to 2019. Through facts and figures, Hunger Count 2023 seems to ask: how many more years must food bank use hit new records before we act? When is it enough?


Who's Hungry Report 2023

In partnership, Daily Bread Food Bank and North York Harvest Food Bank annually publish the Who’s Hungry Report, a profile of food insecurity in the City of Toronto. The report's 2023 edition reveals a grim reality: 1 in 10 people in Toronto are now relying on food banks to make ends meet. Last year that number was 1 in 20. During the reporting period, there were 2.53 million visits to food banks in Toronto – a 51% increase over last year and the highest annual increase ever recorded. In addition to describing these troubling food bank attendance trends, Who's Hungry also provides policy recommendations for provincial and federal governments aimed at targeting the root causes of hunger: poverty and income insecurity.


Hunger Report 2023: Why Ontarians Can’t Get Ahead

Over the past year, food banks across Ontario have been facing demand unlike anything we have faced before. In Feed Ontario’s 2009 Hunger Report following the Great Recession, they wrote, “It has been the toughest year on record for food banks and families in Ontario since we began serving our neighbours over a generation ago.” That year, food bank use across the province increased by 19 per cent in a single year. This record for single-year increases has remained intact until this past year, when food bank use in Ontario increased by an astounding 38 per cent. This dramatic increase should serve as a significant warning to Ontarians and governments at all levels, as there is clearly something wrong when hundreds of thousands of people cannot afford to put food on their table.


In 101 cities and towns across Canada, Mazon's network of grassroots food aid partners are holding the line against this rising tide. With a gift to Mazon, your Tzedakah flows to the most exceptional organizations doing the most impactful work in the hardest hit communities. From coast to coast, Mazon prioritizes:

  • Programs with small operating budgets and/or large volunteer workforces. 

  • Programs that operate in rural communities where resources are scarce. 

  • Programs that support marginalized, racialized, or acutely vulnerable groups. 

  • Programs that go beyond food by offering clients support ending their food insecurity. 

  • Programs that offer clients a seat at the table. 

To join us in this work, click below to feed the hungry today.


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