TORONTO - United Steelworkers (USW) Canadian National Director Ken Neumann today announced the Steelworkers Humanity Fund is contributing $130,800 to 63 different food banks in Canadian communities where USW members live and work.
"In communities as diverse as Lady Smith, B.C., Goose Bay, Val d'Or and Thunder Bay, The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is contributing to food banks because poor and vulnerable Canadians continue to rely on food banks to make ends meet," said Neumann.
"The fact is that right across this country we are collectively failing in our attempts to eliminate poverty," he said. "And we will continue to fail until we start to see the elimination of poverty as a human rights obligation that requires positive, committed government action at all levels."
The recently released HungerCount 2012, produced by Food Banks Canada, provides one snapshot of the alarming dimensions of poverty in Canada:
- 880,000 individuals received food from a food bank in March 2012;
- Food bank use in 2012 was 2.4% higher than in 2011, and 31% higher than in 2008 prior to the recession
- People on social assistance, single parent families, and those who identify as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit are all at higher risk of needing help.
The United Steelworkers continue to support Dignity for All: The Campaign for a Poverty-Free Canada, which aims to make Canada poverty-free, socially secure and cohesive by 2020. The campaign has three core objectives:
- A federal plan for poverty elimination that complements provincial and territorial plans.
- A federal anti-poverty Act that ensures an enduring federal commitment and accountability for results.
- Sufficient federal investment in social security for all Canadians.
Steelworkers Humanity Fund
Founded in1985, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund is a registered charitable organization that focuses primarily on development projects and emergency aid in developing countries, but it also supports Canadian communities in crisis. Steelworker members contribute to the Fund through clauses negotiated into collective agreements. In some cases matching contributions come from employers.
Campaign 2000's Annual National Report Card on Poverty will be released near the end of November and can be found at www.campaign2000.ca
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Ken Neumann, 416-544-5951
Doug Olthuis, Executive Director, Steelworkers Humanity Fund, 416-544-5957