50% of Canadians who struggle with food insecurity have a disability. We must act.
The creation of the Canada Disability Benefit will provide critical income supplement to meet basic needs
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 21, 2022 /CNW/ – Maple Leaf Foods and the Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security (‘the Centre”) have launched a campaign to advance the creation of the Canada Disability Benefit.
In Canada, one of the world’s wealthiest countries, almost six million people struggle to access sufficient food. Fifty per cent (50%) of people in Canada experiencing food insecurity have a disability 1. This is largely an income issue, compounded by social, health, geographic and knowledge factors. According to Statistics Canada, 41 per cent of people living with low-income have a disability, and with the added costs of living and physical barriers, they are especially vulnerable to food insecurity 2. A recent study found households with a person with a disability had nearly twice the likelihood of experiencing food insecurity compared to households without a person with a disability 3.
“Living with a disability should not mean a life of poverty and hunger,” said Sarah Stern, Leader, Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security. “Our focus is to accelerate structural solutions to reducing food insecurity in Canada. Through the creation of the Canada Disability Benefit, addressing the injustice of food insecurity among people with disabilities is within our reach as a nation. We were very pleased to see Bill C-22 debated in the House yesterday and encourage the government to expeditiously design and implement the Benefit.”
There is still much work to be done to get the Benefit, designed and then legislated, but people need the income today. This campaign is highlighting Disability Without Poverty’s work to ask the public to show their support for the Canada Disability Benefit so that people with disabilities can live meaningful lives with independence, autonomy, and dignity. They are calling on Canadians to help by sending a letter to their MP in support of this Benefit.
“The Canada Disability Benefit needs to be a high political priority because it will offer real support to those living with disabilities,” said Rabia Khedr, National Director, Disability Without Poverty. “The Canada Disability Benefit has received broad political support and we urge the government to fast track it’s design and implementation. We are grateful for support from our partners in helping to elevate this issue as one that needs immediate action.”
People living with a disability in Canada represent 22 per cent of Canadians, which makes them the largest minority group in Canada 4. People with disabilities often rely on their families for support, which means that more than 60 per cent of Canadians live with or are impacted by an individual living with a disability 5. In a recent survey, Disability Without Poverty found that 89 per cent of Canadians support a Canada Disability Benefit and feel that the country should come together to dramatically reduce disability and poverty 6.
About the Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security
The Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security (“the Centre”) is a registered charity committed to working collaboratively to reduce food insecurity in Canada by 50% by 2030. The Centre advocates for critical public policies and invests in knowledge building and programs that advance the capacity of people and communities to achieve sustainable food security. The Centre was created in 2016 and is governed by a board of directors, including four independent experts.
About Maple Leaf Foods
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (“Maple Leaf Foods”) is a carbon neutral company with a vision to be the most sustainable protein company on earth, responsibly producing food products under leading brands including Maple Leaf®, Maple Leaf Prime®, Maple Leaf Natural Selections®, Schneiders®, Schneiders® Country Naturals®, Mina®, Greenfield Natural Meat Co.®, Lightlife® and Field Roast™. Maple Leaf Foods employs approximately 13,500 people and does business in Canada, the U.S. and Asia. The company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, and its shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MFI).
About Disability Without Poverty
Disability Without Poverty (“DWP”) is a Canadian grassroots movement led by people with disabilities, with room for everyone to join. DWP is supported by private and community foundations to preserve their independence and ability to advocate and partner with government. For more information, go to www.disabilitywithoutpoverty.ca.
1 Statistics Canada, Centre for Income and Socioeconomic Well-being Statistics, Canadian Income Survey 2020 (Custom Tabulation)
September 21, 2022