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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2010): Homelessness - overseas

The proliferation of charitable meal programs in Toronto

V. Tarasuk and N. Dachner

Canadian Public Policy, vol. 35, 2009, p. 433-450

In recent years a host of programmes have been initiated by community groups to meet the subsistence needs of homeless and impoverished-but-housed individuals. These efforts have been encouraged by federal programmes like the National Homelessness Initiative and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, but no policy or standard has been developed to guide local projects, and only limited funding has been provided. This inventory of food provisioning efforts in Toronto revealed 490 different uncoordinated charitable meal and snack programmes. The food assistance provided through these programmes was fragmented and haphazard, and many struggled to manage demand. The needs that underlie demands for food assistance reflect serious flaws in the current system of income support in Canada.

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