A Newfoundland and Labrador non-profit says dwindling funding and overwhelming demand is forcing the closure of its food helpline, but it’s not looking for more money to keep it going.
Instead, Josh Smee, Food First N.L.’s chief executive officer, has joined a growing chorus of Canadian food charities who say the country’s worsening hunger problem will best be solved through policies that ensure people have the money they need to afford food.
The soaring cost of living is driving “unsustainable” demand for many food charities, Smee said in a recent interview, noting that the number of people now seeking help is far greater than it was at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s a broader realization happening now that this is not a problem that can be solved through charity,” he said. “And I think that’s one of the challenges, is that we’ve built a model that does depend on charity.”
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