he first episode of our new podcast Short Circuit is out today.
Last year food banks in the Greater Toronto Area saw 1.45 million visits, the highest ever recorded.
In Short Circuit's first episode hosts Shannon Carranco and Kevin Taghabon dive into how the COVID-19 pandemic has caused more Toronto residents to use food banks than ever before. Job insecurity, rising rents, and predatory landlord practices have contributed to Toronto's ever-widening wealth gap, forcing people to forgo buying food to pay their rent.
Tenants at the West Lodge apartments in Parkdale have been able to occupy a one-bedroom apartment that they've converted into a food and clothing bank. Carranco spoke to three tenants who volunteer and use the food bank about the organizing they've done, the community they've built, and how its core concept is to challenge capitalist ideals.
Jennifer Evans has been volunteering with food banks across the downtown core since 2018. She's helped organize thousands of meals for the unhoused, families and single tenants. In an in-depth interview, Evans describes the need for more financial assistance and a universal basic income so Torontonians can afford to live equitably in Canada's most expensive city.