What can you do?
One way to get started is by contacting your member of Parliament.
You can write personal messages to members of Parliament through our Harvest of Letters campaign, or meet face-to-face with your member of Parliament, to communicate your concerns with issues of food justice. Click here for a guide to meeting with your MP, or contact us at email@example.com for some help.
Become a member of the Hunger Action Network and receive the Hunger Action Network Update, an email newsletter sent six times a year. In it you will find information and analysis about the issues of food and hunger, and ways that you can help promote long term solutions to hunger and poverty.
Our advocacy work focuses on policies affecting people who experience hunger, many of whom are small-scale farmers.
This includes increasing financing from the Canadian government for adaptations to climate change, promoting more and better aid for agriculture and measures – such as food reserves – to protect vulnerable people in times of food emergencies. We also encourage Canadians to consider their own participation in the global economy, and our use of resources in a world still marked by inequality.
The Bible contains inspiring examples of advocates. People such as Esther and Moses spoke for those who had no voice themselves but were greatly affected by decisions made by powerful people.
After fasting in the desert, Jesus went on to advocate for impoverished and marginalized people in his public ministry. His teaching and example gave us the command “love your neighbour as yourself,” which calls us to extend our compassion to neighbours throughout the world. Advocating in support of people affected by hunger – a truly biblical call – is needed to end global hunger.
The rules about how food and other resources are shared often makes things more difficult for the many people who already experience chronic hunger. We can speak up and influence decision makers to ensure that our trade and aid policies don’t make it harder for others to feed themselves. Often, these decision makers have the power to create or change policies that could have a positive impact on many people, and help reduce hunger.
To make positive changes in policy, we need to communicate with politicians and officials who are involved in making them. Food policy work at Canadian Foodgrains Bank involves discussion at various levels of government, but there is also a need for public support. With this support, we have influenced policies with measurable benefits to those affected by hunger.
“Untying” of Food Aid
For many years, Canada’s policy required that government-funded food aid programs purchase at least 90% of the food in Canada. This often resulted in high costs, slower food aid responses and inappropriate foods for people in developing countries. In other words, international food aid was “tied” to domestic farm policy. After years of advocacy, this policy was changed, permitting food aid to be purchased wherever it makes sense, often as close as possible to those who are hungry.
This policy change has ended up saving millions dollars in transport costs, reducing delivery times for food aid in crisis situations, supporting local production, and providing more appropriate foods to those in need. Last year alone, more than $2 million was saved due to untied food aid, freeing up funds to support more people in need.