The Province is investing $24 million to increase access to fresh food, dental, hearing care for children in low income families, and reduce poverty.
$10 M for food banks
100 food banks in B.C. will have $10 million for refrigeration to store and distribute food. Adding refrigeration capacity for food banks in B.C. means vulnerable families have more consistent access to a greater variety of nutritious foods. Proper cold storage helps prevents annual needless wasting of an estimated $31 billion worth of quality, fresh, usable food across Canada.
“I am thrilled we finally have the means to build refrigerated storage capacity for B.C.’s food bank network. It means that instead of the typical canned, non-perishable foods, we will now can include fresh, healthy perishable donated foods like milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, seafood and meats – all the types of food that each of us want for our own families” said Laura Lansink, executive director, Food Banks BC.
A $10 million tax credit encourages farmers to donate surplus vegetables, meat, grain and dairy to local charities, food banks or school meal programs.
$1 M for dental
BC Dental Association (BCDA) will get help covering operating and capital costs and new equipment at not-for-profit dental clinics.
$6 M for healthy kids
The Province is increasing funding by $6 million to $29 million annually for C Healthy Kids Program for hearing aids, dental care and prescription eyewear to children in about 166,000 families receiving income or disability assistance.
$7 M reduce poverty
A new Community Poverty Reduction Fund will support programs tailored to the unique needs of each region. It will address root causes of poverty at the local level by taking input from communities and organizations already involved with poverty reduction. Prince George, was one of the communities to pilot program.
BC is a leader
B.C. is moving people out of low income at a rate 60% faster than the national average, based on numbers from 2006 – 2014, declining by 27%, about 162,000 people. The number of children living in poverty in B.C. has fallen by 50%, i.e. 79,000 fewer children living in poverty.
B.C. has some of the most comprehensive supports for low-income individuals and families in Canada, incl. subsidized housing, child-care subsidies, dental and optical care for children, free MSP, free Pharmacare, child and seniors benefits, and employment services through Employment Program of BC.
– files: Ministry of Social Dev. and Innovation