Alasdair knows firsthand what it’s like to worry about where his next meal will come from. After spending years working in the food and hospitality industry, he lost his job due to struggles with alcohol. “For a while, money was really tight,” he recalls. “But then it got to a point where I couldn’t even afford food.” Like many people living in poverty, Alasdair felt helpless and afraid for the future. He isn’t alone: in Toronto, 1 in 5 people live in poverty. In Peel and York Region, it’s 1 in 8. In fact, the gaps between the rich and the poor are growing at such a concerning rate here at home that we’ve earned the dubious distinction of the income inequality capital of Canada. For youth, Indigenous people and those living with mental illness or disability, the challenges associated with this complex issue are even more pronounced, with devastating effects that can last a lifetime and even across generations.
We’re working to ensure that more people like Alasdair don’t have to worry about their next meal. This includes providing urgent necessities like food, shelter and employment supports to people living in poverty. But we’re also going one step further. That means creating the right conditions for stronger neighbourhoods where everyone—regardless of postal code—can access opportunity. It means connecting young people who are struggling to good jobs. And it means getting to the “root” of the problem by doing even more to understand related challenges like precarious employment and income inequality that get in the way of people getting ahead. The solution to poverty won’t happen overnight, but we need to start somewhere. We need people like you—who believe that everyone in Greater Toronto deserves a fair chance at a good life—to help us tackle this unignorable issue together.