Too many people in British Columbia have been poor for too long and the COVID-19 crisis has shone a spotlight on how the system must change, according to the spokesperson for a provincial poverty advocacy organization.

Viveca Ellis, a community organizer at the B.C. Poverty Reduction Coalition, says while food insecurity has been a problem in the province for decades, the number of people worried about where their next meal is coming from has skyrocketed due to the pandemic.

However, Ellis said simply providing those in need with food is only a Band-Aid solution and what is critically needed to enact real change is to make sure people are financially secure enough to shelter and feed themselves without continually having to rely on food banks.