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Letter: I grew up on food banks and they won't solve hunger in B.C.

'The greatest way to eliminate food insecurity is not to give more money to local food banks, but to put more money in people's hands so they can afford the necessities of life.'
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Centennial secondary school culinary arts assistant Jeffrey Fagan, who has his Red Seal certificate, packages up food hampers for distribution to Tri-City food banks in a partnership between School District 43 and Share Family and Community Services to get fresh produce to families who need it during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Editor,

I grew up in a family that relied on the food bank, and here we are, almost 40 years later and we are still relying on the generosity of private citizens to make good the failings of government.

The greatest way to eliminate food insecurity is not to give more money to local food banks, but to put more money in people's hands so they can afford the necessities of life.

Several years ago, I had this very conversation with my local MLA who felt that food banks were a stop-gap measure and that governments needed to address the root causes of poverty.

Here in British Columbia, we have a new finance minister and a majority provincial government. This pandemic has presented us with the perfect opportunity to eliminate the need for food banks with a stroke of a pen and new legislation.

Until such time as governments recognize that business as usual is no longer working and take bold steps to eradicate poverty, please give to your local food banks, but continue to advocate for change.

Food banks and the generosity of private citizens are not a recipe for a permanent solution.

Rob Bottos, Coquitlam

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