July 14, 2016
According to Graham Riches, emeritus professor and former director of the Department of Social Work at the University of British Columbia, the trend isn’t just affecting Whistler.
“I think it’s a part of this growing inequality, and that needs to be understood, but I think my own sort of analysis of this is that we have to change the conversation.”
“We have to change the conversation from food charity to the right to food, and the right to food is about governments at all levels… being the ‘primary duty bearers’ in terms of their responsibility for the collective social well-being of their populations,” he said.
“My critique is really that (food banks are) undermining the right to food, and the right to food is really about people having sufficient income in their pockets so that they can go into a store like anybody else and purchase the food of their choice,” he said.
Since food banks were first introduced in Canada in the ’80s, they’ve become entrenched in local communities, supported by supermarkets and charity drives.
“The more that happens, the less urgency there is for governments to actually do anything about minimum wages, or ensuring that income supports are adequate, or that housing policy is addressed,” Riches said.