The Hungry Stories Project

Our goal is to to make art and write stories that will get people talking about food insecurity and about what we can do to make sure no one ever goes hungry.

Food Insecurity in Canada

The number of people in Canada who are food insecure has continued to grow and grow. In 2022, 18.5% of the population—almost 7 million Canadians, including 1.8 million children—lived in families without access to adequate food. Rates of food insecurity are expected to be even higher in 2023.


Food insecurity is a public health problem that has serious health impacts for children and adults. Food insecure adults have higher rates of almost all chronic diseases, from diabetes to depression, and higher risk of premature death, with the risk increasing as the level of food insecurity worsens. Children and youth who are food insecure also have a higher risk of worse health, as well as behavioural and learning challenges. Indigenous peoples, Black and other racialized Canadians, single parents, and those on social assistance and Employment Insurance have much higher rates of food insecurity than the general population.

The Failure of Food Banks

Food banks started in the United States and Canada in the early 1980s, during an economic downturn. They were meant to be temporary.


There are now over four and a half thousand food banks and food charities in Canada. But they haven’t solved the problem of hunger and food insecurity. Food prices are getting higher and fewer people can afford to purchase enough food for themselves and their families, so more people are visiting food banks. Food banks are overwhelmed, as line-ups at food banks grow longer. Donations are declining, too, partly because fewer people can afford to help others.


Many people believe that hunger is being taken care of by food banks and other food charities. But food banks are like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound. And most Canadians who are food insecure never visit a food bank, for a variety of reasons, and even those who do are still food insecure.


Research shows that the best way to reliably reduce food insecurity is for the government to implement policy changes that foster greater income security for low-income Canadians.