A “terrible tragedy” is unfolding across Canada, where 5.8 million people are living in food insecurity, Michael McCain, head of Maple Leaf Foods is quoted today in the Globe and Mail.
Valerie Tarasuk, a nutritional sciences professor who leads a food security research team at the University of Toronto, estimates about 16 per cent of Canadians live in food-insecure households.
Among food companies that have been vocal about the continuing crisis, the response has been to focus on supply – and how to increase it. Other companies have responded by raising their donations to food banks and other charities.
But, in an interview with The Globe and Mail, McCain explained why those approaches are based on “myths.”
“Food insecurity is not about food,” he said. “The fundamental drivers of food insecurity [are] not food. Canada has an ample supply of food.”
Instead, “it really is about the systemic issues,” he said. He pointed to multiple factors tied to food insecurity: income inequality, poverty, mental illness, access to skills (including financial and nutritional skills) and racism.
“It’s all of those systemic issues that are at the core of food insecurity,” he said.