It's a simple brown lunch bag containing just an apple and a profound message addressed to the Prime Minister.
But anti-poverty campaigners in Richmond are hoping it's enough to grab Stephen Harper's attention for even a few moments.
The volunteers - taking part in the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - will be handing out the bags during an impromptu "lunch line-up" at Richmond Brighouse Library on Thursday (Oct. 17).
Between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., as part of their "Richmond Chew on This!" event, they'll be encouraging people to re-think food charity as a means of tackling hunger in the city and across Canada.
In its place, they want people to help them urge Harper to take a proactive approach to eradicating poverty and hunger for the 882,000 people nationwide who resort to food banks each month.
"Inside the bag will be an apple and a postcard addressed to Stephen Harper; demanding a federal poverty reduction strategy," said De Whalen, chair of the Richmond Poverty Response Committee.
"If people want to take a few momentsand sit down and write a message, then we'll make sure the postcard is sent off to Mr. Harper.
"There's got to be a better way than food banks. Food banks were supposed to be a temporary measure and now they're part of the landscape."
All levels of government have abdicated responsibility on poverty, said Whalen. And, instead of raising wages, she said there is far too much reliance on food banks to feed needy families.
"The minimum wage of $10.25 an hour is not going to feed a family," she added.
"If they're having to spend so much money on rent, then something's got to give and it's usually the food.
"There's a systemic problem that can only be fixed by the people who we put in power.
"We're trying to move from charity to justice, because people have the right to feed their kids properly."
A national poverty action plan is the main recommendation in "Poverty Trends Highlights: Canada 2013," a report by Citizens for Public Justice.
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