Over three million Canadians currently live in poverty, which is why churches in the Carman area are getting together to brainstorm ways to solve the issue, according to Karen Tjaden of Carman and District Ministerial.

Churches invite community members to join them July 25 at 10 a.m. at the Carman United Church to voice their ideas and concerns about poverty, both on a local and a national scale.

foodbank grocerybagCommunity members receiving food vouchers at the food bank is one of the signs of local povertyThis meeting will be held in conjunction with the federal government to work towards a Poverty Reduction Strategy project.

Tjaden said the churches are looking forward to lending a voice to the discussion.

"This seemed like a great opportunity for us to be involved in a larger conversation about what our vision is for our country and for our province around how we address the root causes of poverty and try to reduce the incidences of poverty in Canada, because we see first hand the impact it has on people's quality of life," said Tjaden.

Once the conversation concludes, Tjaden said they have the chance to submit the ideas and concerns cultivated in the meeting to the federal government through the Strategy website.

Though the submissions will go toward a countrywide poverty resolution plan, Tjaden said that does not undermine the local issues at hand, and she hopes the concerns raised at the meeting can help the surrounding community's poverty problem.

"It isn't faithful for us to just keep on responding to the immediate need without asking some questions and being more curious about why a certain number of people are poor, especially in a wealthy community... why do we have these pockets of poverty, and what can we do to provide more opportunities for everyone?" she said.

All members of the public are allowed to attend but are encouraged to register beforehand. For more information or for registration, contact the church at (204) 745-6835.

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