Part C: Written Research SummaryFindings from research:Each country has its own measure of poverty to gauge whether a person or family is living infood deprivation. It is a fact that nobody really knows how many Canadians are living inpoverty. Statistics Canada provides a low-income cut off (LICO) depending on the size of familyand the place of living. The LICO for a 4 member family in Toronto is given as $32759 and$21760 for a family of two. For a single adult it is $16542.Canada has considerable population living under poverty. It is estimated that 550,000 Canadianslive with less than half of LICO. We are not in a position to classify people into those living inacute poverty or those living in the periphery of poverty. Through our research we have foundout that, in the absence of a real demarcation the fight to eradicate poverty does not have a clearstarting line.Unemployment is a major cause of poverty and work can lift people out of poverty. In Torontowe can find a large number of people live in poverty while still working. The number ofworking poor is the highest in Toronto. This is because of the basic needs of life food, clothes,transportation and shelter are expensive and even a full time job may not be sufficient to moveabove poverty line. John Stapleton, Brian Murphy, Yue Xing define the working poor asindividuals who:“has an after-tax income below the Low Income Measure (LIM)has earnings of at least $3,000 a year,is between the ages of 18 and 64,is not a student, andlives independentlyAccording to the above authors 23% of the working poor are immigrants.”We believe poverty is a social problem. It is a question of social justice. It is also a question ofdistance between haves and have-nots.Canada ranks 24 out of 35 industrialized nations in child poverty. As per the Toronto campaign2000‟s report card on child poverty in Toronto, one child in three lives in poverty. Toronto has
the dubious distinction of the highest rate of child poverty. This affects the mental and physicalgrowth of scores of children leading to various developmental problems.We wish to provide an excerpt from „Citizens for public justice‟ report 2002 which depicts whatgoes in an innocent child‟s mind when faced with poverty:
How can we face this problem of poverty? Can we remedy it?According to UNICEF Canada President David Morley “The good news is that when we investin things like early childhood education, when we invest in early health care, when we invest inhelping the most vulnerable children it makes a difference”.Food banks play a major role in fighting poverty among the members of community. OntarioAssociation of Food Banks (OAFB) runs 120 food banks in Ontario. On a monthly basis theyserve more than 148000 children in Ontario. OAFB administers a number of initiatives. One ofthem is community harvest program which is run with the cooperation of big farms from wherethe volunteers collect huge amounts of left-over fruits and vegetables and supply to the needy.More than 500 dairy farms in Ontario support providing more than one million liters of milkevery year for the families through the food banks. Many food supply organizations donate toprovide daily food items such as pasta, milk powder and canned foods for distribution.According to the hunger report 2012 published by OAFB, 412998 persons in Ontario accessedfood banks in March 2012 alone and 17190 new families accessed food banks for the first timein 2012. More than 16000 children use food banks in Ontario per month. The statistics is quitealarming.There are many reasons cited for the increased dependence on food banks such as cuts in Federaland Provincial social assistance Programs, increased unemployment and sharp rise in livingcosts. More adults and children are now seeking food bank services. Urban Ontario has morefood bank subscribers than other areas. The largest growing groups are women, new Canadians,laid off workers, university graduates, single parent households and senior citizens.The community must take note of the increasing dependence on food banks which also points tothe underlying social problems facing the country. The wealthy citizens of Canada and thecorporate bodies must pay more attention to the struggle by the food banks to supply healthy dietto the impoverished. More helping hands are needed to serve the increasing numbers of theneedy. The government of Ontario must also rise up to the occasion to legislate to implementsolutions so that dependence on food banks can be reduced.
The advocacy position we have taken up has touched a chord in our hearts. We neverunderstood the enormity of the problem when we took up the project. Our visits to the foodbanks, our interaction with the food bank officials and the extensive research we did have createdan urge to help the people in need. We are now more determined to do our best to contributewhatever we can to help those out there who need help in finding their daily bread.Addressing specific questions from PART B:Our research questions address how to help the disadvantaged using or getting more help fromprivate companies and firms and our research indicates that Corporate Social Responsibility is anideal way to get companies to fund initiatives. Corporate Social Responsibility platforms notonly provide a medium for advertisement for the companies, it gives the company a positivename when they fund projects.Our research indicates that a high volume of participants are involved in food banks, therefore,the best way to distribute food is by utilizing the already preexisting food bank structures to giveout goods for the poor.According to our research, Statistics Canada provides a low-income cut off (LICO) depending onthe size of family and the place of living. The LICO for a 4 member family in Toronto is givenas $32759 and $21760 for a family of two. For a single adult it is $16542. Anyone with all of thefollowing reasons should be eligible for services from the food bank: “has an after-tax incomebelow the Low Income Measure (LIM), has earnings of at least $3,000 a year, is between theages of 18 and 64, is not a student, and lives independently.”If we target private companies and firms and convince them to be part of a Corporate SocialResponsibility drive in the neighborhood around Centennial College Ashtonbee Campus, we willbe able to raise about $2500, provided we show cause and an established history of continuedwork on this project.Our research shows that, Food banks play a major role in fighting poverty among the membersof community. Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) runs 120 food banks in Ontario.On a monthly basis they serve more than 148000 children in Ontario. OAFB administers anumber of initiatives. One of them is community harvest program which is run with the
cooperation of big farms from where the volunteers collect huge amounts of left-over fruits andvegetables and supply to the needy. More than 500 dairy farms in Ontario support providingmore than one million liters of milk every year for the families through the food banks. Manyfood supply organizations donate to provide daily food items such as pasta, milk powder andcanned foods for distribution. According to the hunger report 2012 published by OAFB, 412998persons in Ontario accessed food banks in March 2012 alone and 17190 new families accessedfood banks for the first time in 2012. More than 16000 children use food banks in Ontario permonth.According to our research, although job training is the long-term solution to solve theunemployment crisis, in current economic climate and current macro-economic policies do nothave surplus amounts of hiring intake. The idea is right, however, the product might be lacking.We still suggest, that job training is crucial and in the long run it will help to alleviate poverty.Through our research, we also found out that poverty in Ontario is on the rise primarily becauseof unemployment and lack of economic opportunities available due to the aftermath of therecession, etc With majority of the poor in Toronto being new and recent immigrants andemployers preferring to hire people with Canadian experience, unemployment continues to riseand it is directly proportional to the rise in poverty as well.Our research fits in with the issues we wanted to address. There is a pre-existing povertyproblem in Ontario. Through our research we are able to add more perspective and sense into theissue and we have gained more knowledge on the topic it as well. Overall, we believe, ourknowledge and understanding of the subject will help us succeed in formulating a good planwhich will be able to combat poverty in Ontario.
Bibliography:1. http://www.thestar.com/opinion/2007/01/06/defining_poverty_critical_first_step.htmlviewed on 21 April, 20132. http://metcalffoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Working-Poor-in-Toronto-Region.pdf viewed on 20 April 20133. John Stapleton, Brian Murphy, Yue Xing; “The working poor in the Toronto Region,who they are, where they live and how trends are changing” Metcalf foundation,February 20124. http://www.moorelands.ca/poverty.php viewed on 21 April 20135. Greg deGroot-Maggetti: “ A measure of poverty in Canada, A guide to the debate aboutpoverty lines”, Citizens for public justice, March 20026. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2012/05/29/canada_lags_on_fighting_child_poverty_report_finds.html viewed on 21 April 20137. http://www.oafb.ca/about-oafb viewed on 21 April 20138. Ontario Association of food Banks, Hunger Report December 2012 available at:http://www.oafb.ca/tiny_mce/plugins/filemanager/pics_cms/2012_OAFB_Hunger_Report.pdf9. http://www.yongestreetmedia.ca/features/toronto4acumen05162012.aspx