#FoodSecurityExperts; #FoodSupplyShortage; #HigherPrice, #TravelRestrictions; #COVID19
Ottawa, Apr 03 (Canadian-Media): Shortage of food supply, higher prices and a growing nutrition gap between rich and poor amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, have been warned by food security experts, media reports said.
Food Banks of Canada. Image credit: Twitter handle
Faced with critical issues including border closures restricting the movement of foreign farm workers, transportation, panic hoarding at grocery stores leads to higher prices or food shortages by Canada Food supplies.
Elaine Power, a food security expert at Queen's University, said price increases for some goods could lead to even greater nutritional disparities between low-income households and everyone else.
As organizations that deliver food to the needy are struggling with growing demand while facing fewer donations and volunteers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier Friday $100 million for food banks and breakfast clubs.
Food Banks Canada, which will receive about half the money, projected that due many companies being closed, layoffs and employment insurance (EI) claims, said the demand in coming weeks will exceed what it saw during the 2008 recession.
The federal government has said it received more than 1.6 million applications for EI in just over a week.
Today's announcement of $100 million funding for food banks would give the Food Bank of Canada a big relief.
The production front is faced with the challenge of getting access to some 60,000 temporary foreign workers who normally come to Canada each year to help produce and harvest food products.
A similar situation in the U.S. also puts at risk those products that are exported to Canada.
Although, it was confirmed by the federal government in March that foreign workers will be allowed into the country despite the COVID-19 travel ban because they are considered essential workers, travel restrictions and a slowdown in bureaucracies in Canada and abroad have delayed the process.
Many employers are also weighing the higher costs of employing foreign workers, since they must also pay them during a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival.