Minister Bibeau announces an extra $30 million to help vulnerable people in Canada access food

News release

December 22, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced a $30-million top-up for the Emergency Food Security Fund, bringing total funding under the Fund to $330 million. This additional investment is aimed at addressing the increased demand and fewer resources faced by food banks and local food organizations, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Food insecurity rates increased over the pandemic, with one in seven Canadian households who have experienced food insecurity over a one-month period during the pandemic.

Funding will be divided between Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest, Breakfast Club of Canada, Community Food Centres Canada, The Salvation Army, and La Tablée des Chefs, who in turn will continue their work to distribute it to thousands of local food organizations 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.

Since it was launched in the opening months of the pandemic, the Emergency Food Security Fund has supported more than 5,000 local food initiatives across Canada, with over 1,100 initiatives directly supporting Indigenous organizations and communities. The Fund has helped to serve healthy, nutritious and culturally diverse meals to millions of people in Canada.

Emergency Food Security Fund recipients will use a portion of the funds to purchase surplus Prince Edward Island potatoes and redistribute them to local food serving organizations who have expressed the need for this commodity.

The Government of Canada is committed to improving access to safe and nutritious food for vulnerable people in Canada, part of the vision of a Food Policy for Canada launched in 2019.

Quotes

“Canada’s food banks and local food organizations have done tremendous work over the past year, as the pandemic continues to worsen food insecurity across Canada. Our Government is committed to making sure they receive our support so they can continue to put more food on the table for vulnerable Canadians. This extra $30-million investment will help these six vital organizations with established distribution networks to continue to improve access to food for Canadians in need, while also supporting PEI farmers by redirecting surplus potatoes to local food-serving organizations who need them.”

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“We are grateful for the continued support of the Government of Canada. These funds will help food banks from coast to coast to coast provide healthy, nutritious food as the need for their services rises across the country.”

- David Armour, Interim CEO, Food Banks Canada

“Thanks to the support of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Second Harvest will be able to provide even more funding to community food programs supporting vulnerable Canadians with the nourishing food they need. Additionally, this funding will allow us to support farmers through the purchase and transport of millions of surplus potatoes to our national network of non-profit partners.”

- Lori Nikkel, CEO, Second Harvest

"As the pandemic continues to have repercussions on children across the country, we greatly appreciate the Government of Canada’s persistent dedication and willingness to alleviate food insecurity among children, as is demonstrated today by the announcement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food. This additional emergency funding will help the nearly 2 million children in our country who risk going to school hungry every morning. This is a great step towards ensuring that children can access the nourishment they need so that they may reach their full potential."

- Tommy Kulczyk, General Manager, Breakfast Club of Canada

“On behalf of The Salvation Army and the more than 3 million Canadians that we’ve served throughout COVID-19, I would like to thank the Government of Canada and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, for their ongoing support and investment in food and food security for those who continue to struggle as a result of the pandemic. The Salvation Army is grateful to our many partners who have worked together in meeting the needs of Canadians during this most challenging time, and we thank them for their spirit of unity and purpose in mission. We’re stronger together.”

- Lt-Colonel John P. Murray, Secretary for Communications, The Salvation Army

“The Solidarity Kitchens project was launched at the beginning of the pandemic with the intention of fighting against food insecurity that was so evident during this particularly unstable and difficult period, through the mobilization of chefs, their brigades and generous food partners. Despite the fact that the industry is still hard-hit, this project allows us to continue to feed the people who need it most.”

- Jean-François Archambault, Executive Director and Founder, La Tablée des Chefs

Quick facts

  • In April 2020, the Government of Canada announced up to $100 million through the Emergency Food Security Fund (EFSF) to Canadian food banks and other national food rescue organizations to help meet the immediate needs of people experiencing food insecurity in Canada 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.

  • On August 4, 2021, the Government of Canada announced another $100 million for the EFSF to further support local food banks across Canada to reduce food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The $30-million top-up announced today will be allocated to the same six organizations, which have proven track records and established distribution networks to provide food quickly to those in need:

    • Up to $10 million to Food Banks Canada
    • Up to $7.5 million to Second Harvest
    • Up to $7 million to Breakfast Club of Canada
    • Up to $3 million to Community Food Centres Canada
    • Up to $2 million to The Salvation Army
    • Up to $500,000 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 meet increased demand and provide nutritious food to more Canadians.

  • 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. 

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Contacts

Marianne Dandurand
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
marianne.dandurand@agr.gc.ca
343-541-9229

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
1-866-345-7972
aafc.mediarelations-relationsmedias.aac@agr.gc.ca
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