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TOWLE STATEMENT ON HUNGER WEEK, MAY 5-9

EDMONTON, AB (May 6, 2014): Today, Wildrose Human Services Critic Kerry Towle released the following statement on Hunger Awareness Week, May 5-9 in Canada:

“Alberta is currently Canada’s most prosperous province but hunger is still a sad reality for far too many. On average, 53,000 Albertans a year turn to their local food bank for assistance. That’s about half the size of Red Deer. What’s more alarming, nearly half of them – 44% – are children. That’s considerably higher than the national average of 36%.

“Recently, I was able to visit both the Calgary and Edmonton Food Banks. I was amazed at the fantastic work our food banks have done including ensuring Albertans had food during one of the worst natural disasters in history – last year’s floods in southern Alberta. It was a sobering reminder that local volunteer groups play a pivotal role in alleviating hunger.

“That is why Wildrose supports local decision making and creative partnerships over centralized government. Food banks are often the first access point Albertans in need and the avenue to identify those who need a helping hand, whether it’s providing basics or helping Albertans recognize and capitalize on opportunities that can help them get on-track towards self-sufficiency and empowerment.

“Tomorrow is World Hunger Awareness Day and I will be going without food until 6 p.m. in order to raise awareness of the impacts hunger can have. Several of my colleagues will join me, including Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith and MLAs Gary Bikman, Blake Pedersen and Drew Barnes.

“I encourage all Albertans from all sectors of society – from government to private sector, from urban to rural, from organized groups to individual acts of contribution and volunteerism – to get involved in fighting hunger by supporting your local food bank.”