Basic income best way to help families put food on table: report

Global News

Giving low-income families unconditional monthly payments to cover basic necessities would likely be the best way to fight food insecurity, a new report argues.

Food insecurity, which ranges from worrying about one’s ability to put food on the table to having to skip meals in order to make ends meet, affects around 12 per cent of the population in Ontario, reads the study, by the Northern Policy Institute (NPI), a non-partisan think-tank.

Although the research focuses on Ontario, which just rolled out a small basic income pilot program, its conclusions apply broadly to all of Canada, where a similar proportion of families struggle to afford enough food despite various government anti-poverty policies, according to Valerie Tarasuk, author of the report and professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Affordable housing, food banks and raises in the minimum wage have failed to make a dent in the share of Ontario’s food-insecure households, but the available evidence suggests a guaranteed basic income would, writes Tarasuk.

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