Food Insecurity

FOOD INSECURITY

FOOD IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT

Everyone has the right to access enough safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food in a way that is socially acceptable and dignified. This is known as food security. 

Food Insecurity is a serious social & public health problem that: 

  • negatively impacts physical, mental & social health.
  • costs our healthcare system a considerable sum.
  • leaves an indelible mark on children’s well-being.  

Hunger, food insecurity and poverty can happen to anyone. Having a job may not be enough.

Part-time employment, lack of benefits and lack of job security can make it hard for people to afford healthy food.

I have a problem with the term ‘food insecurity’ being used to refer to what’s actually poverty. And that is ‘income insecurity’, a ­problem that is very significant in The County.

Community member, 2017 Food Security Collective Impact Project

Change needs to start at policy level. Food as an issue is a good place to start doing advocacy work on poverty.

Community Conversations 2017

If you have to pay for a taxi to get to the grocery store that will put a dent in your food budget. 

2017 Food Security Impact Project

WHO is food insecure in Hastings & PEC?

WHY: Reasons can include limited income, the high cost of housing, lack of transportation and ‘food deserts’ where families cannot access fresh, nutritious, affordable food without travelling a long way.

HOUSING & FOOD COSTS have increased. Incomes have not kept pace.

HOUSEHOLDS RELIANT ON SOCIAL ASSISTANCE spend a higher percent of their income on shelter and food and have an 11 TIMES HIGHER RISK of being food insecure.

Food insecure people CAN’T BUY THE FOODS they want & need for good health.

Annual HEALTH CARE COSTS ARE UP TO 121% HIGHER in food insecure households.

Local action includes – LEFT: free dinners in an upbeat atmosphere and RIGHT: Food to Share volunteers making healthy meals for food bank freezers

⇒ Click here for Statistics Canada source figures on Food Insecurity

For some, community-provided meals are the only family meal they will have in the week.

2017 Food Security Collective Impact Project

WHAT’S BEING DONE

The Vital Signs Food Security Working Group has adopted a Collective Impact framework for working together differently to address local food security and its root causes. The group completed a 7-month research and planning project in early 2018 and currently is launching the plan which includes key strategies for change around Working Together, Shifting Attitudes and Behaviours, Gaining Polical and Financial Support and Transforming the Local Food System.

County Food Hub, a volunteer-led initiative, is repurposing empty classrooms and surplus space in Sophiasburg Central School into a hub for local food preparation and education. In doing so it has also saved the school from closure. It expects to open in 2019.

Significant ongoing community initiatives are addressing food insecurity including Food to Share, Fresh for All, CDC Quinte’s Food Programs, Food Not Bombs and Community Gardens.

The Poverty Roundtable HPE is a network of community members, agencies, government and business partners bringing together diverse views and perspectives to work toward reducing poverty in HPE counties. People with lived experience of poverty are engaged in shaping the strategies, policies and, ultimately, the programs and services.

ADDITIONAL READING