The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “hunger

Be It Resolved

Posted on December 31, 2013

New Years doesn’t quite retain the deeper cultural meanings it used to possess years ago, but it still carries quite a punch.  Growing up in Edinburgh, Scotland, some of my most vivid memories swirl around New Years Eve, the gathering of family and friends, community celebrations, and, of course, the singing of Auld Lang Syne.  There was a depth of humanity to its words that transcended the moment.  But there was a restrained sadness in its singing, a kind of brooding acknowledgement that the arrival of a new year meant having to deal with some of the more difficult realities of the one just expired. The words “Auld Lang Syne” could literally be translated as “old long since” and spoke of the passing of…

Dreamless Sleep

Posted on November 6, 2013

So it’s out.  No, not about the use of crack cocaine, or a new revelation on the Senate scandal. Following months of preparation, food banks across Canada have produced their annual HungerCount report.  Some in the media say it’s good news, that with the economy turning a corner we can finally see a decline in poverty.  That’s quite a stretch, and fortunately most of the media reported it for what it was: another indication of the entrenchment of poverty in the Canadian context that refuses to go away regardless of the state of the economy. The report concludes that food bank use has declined 7% in the last year.  However, much of that is regionally slanted, with many food banks facing continual increases.  Food…

One More Time, With Meaning

Posted on October 4, 2013

Today it is.  The London Food Bank launches its 25th annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, running from today, October 4th right through to Thanksgiving Monday, October 14th.  Every year, some in the media ask us to do something new and different to draw attention to the challenge we face as a food bank.  We always take a pass on that challenge because in our view 3600 families a month coming to us directly for assistance is not only a significant news story but a deep challenge to our community as well. And we’re not alone in that challenge.  Consider this: 412,998 individuals accessed Ontario food banks in March 2012 38.7% of food bank users, or 159,918 individuals, were children (11,737 more children than in March…

Hunger and Waste

Posted on October 10, 2012

The following is my recently published article in the Huffington Post. Across Canada hundreds of food banks sent out special appeals over the Thanksgiving season asking people to donate generously. They had clear reason for doing so. Most food banks are facing record demand, as a deep recession that has supposedly ended still leaves its impact all over the country. The London Food Bank, which I co-direct, has seen a 19% increase over this time last year – the majority of that increased demand made up of people who only two years ago were working. Last August saw our highest monthly demand ever in our 25-year history and our highest daily record was only two weeks ago. While many still claim that food banks…

Haughty and Hungry

Posted on May 22, 2012

There was a time, not all that many years ago when Canada was a deeply respected world player, that the United Nations was the venue through which we applied our foreign policy. Unlike our neighbours to the south, who exhibited a certain scepticism toward the international organization, Canada would only sanction international actions once cleared through the Security Council. It was a pattern practiced by every prime minister, regardless of the party in power. There were advantages to this approach. Such constraint taught us the effective nuances of diplomacy and foreign service and kept us from striking out unilaterally in ways that could disturb fragile peace networks around the world. Certain vestiges of that approach remain, but our careful diplomacy has now been overrun…

%d bloggers like this: