Mr. Speaker, today is the third annual National Hunger Awareness Day. Each month more than 720,000 Canadians visit one of almost 700 community food banks for assistance. About two of every five users are children. For every person coming, the Canadian Association of Food Banks estimates there are another four or five struggling to get the food they need. This is wrong in a land of plenty.
We salute the agencies and volunteers in those food banks, but we know hunger exists because of a deep and persistent poverty. We lack a national plan to end poverty. The government thinks a job is the only answer, yet Canada has three-quarters of a million working poor who need help because they work at jobs that pay too little with few benefits and are part time or temporary. Poor paying jobs and hunger are an injustice, an indictment of wrong priorities by a government.
We in this party say food, clothing, shelter and a decent job are necessities of life. We call on the government to adopt a national poverty plan. We can eliminate hunger.