Minister Bibeau announces another $100 million to help Canadians in need to access food
August 4, 2021 – Sherbrooke, Quebec – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, along with the Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke, Élisabeth Brière, announced a $100-million top-up for the Emergency Food Security Fund. This additional investment will provide more support for food banks and local food organizations, who are coping with higher demand and fewer resources.
The new funding will be divided between Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada, Breakfast Club of Canada, Salvation Army, and La Tablée des Chefs, who in turn will distribute it to thousands of local food banks across Canada. Local organizations will use the funding to purchase and distribute food and other basic necessities to meet the emergency needs of the most vulnerable people. They may also hire temporary help to cope with volunteer shortages and adapt operations to help keep workers, volunteers and recipients safe.
To ensure all Canadians have equitable access to safe and healthy food, each organization will dedicate a portion of its funding to projects that directly support underrepresented groups. So far, the Emergency Food Security Fund has supported more than 4,700 local food initiatives across Canada, with over 1,050 initiatives directly supporting Indigenous organizations and communities. The fund has helped to serve safe, healthy and culturally diverse meals to millions of Canadians.
One in seven Canadians lives in a household where there was food insecurity over a one-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic. This led more Canadians to turn to food banks to feed their families, with disproportionate impacts on the most vulnerable. The Government of Canada is committed to addressing the pandemic's impacts by improving access to safe and nutritious food.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has meant even greater uncertainty for Canadians who are unsure of where they will find their next meal. Even with the important benefits our Government put in place to support those who lost their incomes, our food banks and local food organizations have seen a spike in demand. As we work to finish the fight against COVID-19, the Government of Canada is providing another $100 million in emergency assistance, in addition to the $200 million already allocated to these organizations over the past year, so they can continue helping vulnerable Canadians.”
- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"While the pandemic has highlighted the need for food security for many Sherbrooke residents, our food banks and local organizations are facing increased demand and limited resources. That is why our Government is providing $100 million in ongoing support to organizations such as Moisson Estrie so that they can help more families in need. I also want to thank our extraordinary volunteers and workers who have given countless hours of their time to be there for the Sherbrooke residents who are most in need.”
- Élisabeth Brière, Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
"The funding has allowed us to support more people in our region over the past year. We have seen an increase in demand since the beginning of the pandemic, and despite the challenges, we have been able to help people in need.”
- Geneviève Côté, Executive Director, Moisson Estrie
First announced in April 2020, the Emergency Food Security Fund (EFSF) provides funding to national and regional organizations, which in turn support food banks and local food organizations across Canada, to help improve access to food for people experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On October 9, 2020, the Government of Canada announced an additional $100 million for the EFSF to further support food security, including $30 million to help improve access to food and increase food supply for Indigenous communities.
The $100-million top-up announced today will be allocated to the following organizations, which have proven track records and established distribution networks to provide food quickly to those in need:
- $25.84 million to Food Banks Canada
- $25 million to Breakfast Club of Canada
- $25 million to Second Harvest
- $15 million to Community Food Centres Canada
- $8.16 million to Salvation Army
- $1 million to La Tablée des Chefs
Projects and final funding are subject to negotiation of a contribution agreement.
The top-up for the EFSF is part of the additional $140 million outlined in Budget 2021 to help emergency hunger relief organizations prevent hunger, strengthen food security in our communities, and provide nutritious food to more Canadians. Budget 2021 also included a $10-million top-up for the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, which is supporting rapid-response grants to help prevent hunger through investments in infrastructure needs.
As part of the Government of Canada's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also invested:
- $50 million in the Surplus Food Rescue Program, which moved surplus food commodities through the food system as efficiently as possible to help vulnerable Canadians.
- $25 million in Nutrition North Canada to increase subsidies so families in the North and Arctic can afford much-needed nutritious food and personal hygiene products. Budget 2021 committed $163.4 million to expand the Nutrition North Canada program and enable the Minister of Northern Affairs to work directly with Indigenous partners, including in Inuit Nunangat, to address food insecurity.
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
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