By Bill Hopwood
In 1982 the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society was established as a temporary social service. Now 30 years, later it has become a permanent institution to help feed many of the hungry people in B.C.
At this time of year many organizations and media networks run appeals asking the public to help those in poverty with donations of money, food, and other presents. The people of B.C. do give generously at this time of year.
However, no matter how generous the public is, charity cannot eradicate poverty. The season of giving will end in a month or so but the poverty continues all year round. In addition, forcing people to rely on charity can be humiliating. It is impossible to eat a healthy diet on welfare. People deserve justice rather than charity.
After 30 years of Food Banks and nearly a decade of B.C. being one of the worst provinces in the Canada for poverty, isn’t it time to ask questions about why is there so much poverty.
Rather than the media simply raising support for charity, shouldn’t there be a provincial dialogue on the harm that poverty does to the people of B.C., the waste of human lives and billions of dollars in costs.
B.C. needs the government to show 10% of the compassion of the public and take action to raise welfare and the other steps necessary to tackle poverty.
Raise the Rates is encouraging all the media to launch a dialogue on "What would be needed to make Food Banks unnecessary in B.C. by January 12, 2018?"
As a start of that dialogue Raise the Rates will be hosting a Poor People’s Radio between noon and 1 p.m. on Friday, December 7, outside the CBC at 700 Hamilton Street, Vancouver.
Bill Hopwood wrote this open letter on behalf of Raise the Rates.