Food bank use in the Greater Toronto Area has eased slightly to less than 1.1 million visits in the past year, says the Daily Bread Food Bank in its annual profile of area hunger. But those numbers remain “unacceptably high” and are still 14 per cent above food bank use in 2008, before the recession hit, says the report released Wednesday. The report calls on the province’s social assistance review commission to transform Ontario’s income security system and for the political parties to endorse a new housing benefit to make rents more affordable to all low-income tenants. “After an alarming two years following the first major recession of the millennium, the importance of undertaking this review has never been clearer,” says the report. Of the 1,082,000 visits to GTA food banks between March 2010 and March 2011, most visits — 908,000 — were in Toronto. That is down from almost 1.2 million visits in the GTA the previous year which was a 15 per cent increase and the largest since the mid-1990s. Housing costs are the main reason people go hungry, says the report.
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The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness is the largest national research institute devoted to homelessness in Canada. The COH is the curator of the Homeless Hub.Canadian Observatory on Homelessness