Thanksgiving Food Drives – Isn’t There a Better Way?

It is time for the 2012 Thanksgiving food drives.

Ottawa Food Bank – needs 250,000 pounds of food and $100,000 in cash
Barrie Food Bank – needs 130,000 pounds of food
Cambridge Self Help Food Bank – needs 110,000 pounds of food

The amounts involved are mind-boggling.  And they get larger every year!

The drives bring attention to poverty.  But do they provide a permanent solution?

The Ontario Association of Food Banks has figures to show that over 400,000 Ontarians, including 148,000 children, use food banks each month.

Freedom 90 is an association of Food Bank and Emergency Meal Program Volunteers who are united in raising their voices to demand an end to poverty and an end to the need for food banks and emergency meal programs in Ontario.

Freedom 90 draws attention to the fact that what used to be termed a “food emergency” has become the new reality for a large segment of society.  In the process, “poverty” has become rebranded as “hunger” in order to mask the underlying cause: inadequate incomes due to low wages and precarious work and social assistance levels too low to provide adequate housing and food.

What Freedom 90 believes:

  • Food banks and emergency meal programs do not, and never will, meet the basic needs of people in our communities with low incomes.
  • Ontario is a wealthy society and can afford to ensure that everyone has adequate housing and food.
  • Every resident of Ontario has the right to health and dignity, including having enough income to pay the rent and having enough left over to buy food.
  • When food banks and emergency food programs are no longer needed to meet basic needs, we’ll know that poverty in Ontario has ended.

Freedom 90 members believe that what we are facing is not a scarcity of food in Ontario, but a scarcity of income for those who are working in precarious types of employment and for those who must rely on social assistance or other forms of fixed income. We advocate for fair wages and adequate amounts of assistance that allow people to purchase their own food and preserve their dignity.

You can learn more about Freedom 90 by visiting our website at  If you would like to receive communications from us as we work toward our goal, you can go to our membership page at www. and sign on.

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