Housing Affordability, Income, and Food Bank Users in the Greater Toronto Area, 1999-2000
Summarized from the Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, volume 40, issue 1, February 2003 Housing costs rise, money for food decreases. Seems simple enough, but the factors which cause people to use food banks, to live in inadequate or unsafe housing, and to have less income than the poverty line Low Income Cut Offs can be fairly complex. Studies looking at charitable and non-profit organizations such as food banks, and the role they play in society, have been limited. Michalski tries to take our knowledge a step further by looking at the negative and positive roles that food banks play in the context of the changing economic situation and government policies. Food and housing, two primary needs that must be met for all individuals are so closely linked, that an analysis of food bank users shows up severe housing inadequacies at the same time. The impact on both of Provincial government social policy were drastic - post-shelter household money for food and other expenses were cut almost in half by the 21.6% cut to welfare payments. That has been exacerbated by rapidly rising rents in the period of the Tenant "Protection" Act, stagnant minimum wage and social assistance rates, and other social and economic factors. Rates of individual and family use of food banks have skyrocketed in one decade.
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