Canada is facing a ‘terrible’ food crisis, says Maple Leaf CEO Michael McCain

The Globe and Mail

A “terrible tragedy” is unfolding across Canada, where 5.8 million people are living in food insecurity, says Maple Leaf Foods MFI-T +0.70%increase chief executive Michael McCain.

They do not have adequate access to food due to financial constraints, and the total has increased steadily over the past 15 years. That figure dropped slightly at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak with the rollout of government pandemic benefits, but is again on the rise, according to Statistics Canada.

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, Mr. McCain – who announced earlier this month he will step down as Maple Leaf’s chief executive next year – explained why those approaches are based on “myths.”

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