It is depressing to admit that despite plenty and prosperity, many communities continue to face the hard reality of food insecurity in today’s interconnected globe. This problem, which is characterized as the unpredictable or constrained access to adequate, secure, and nourishing food, affects millions of people and families around the world. But each of us has the ability to lessen this problem, and localized cooperation can make a significant difference.
It can be challenging to stock the fridge and prepare meals as the price of food, housing, and other requirements rises. Food insecurity refers to not being able to buy healthy food to suit your requirements and the needs of your household. It is a problem that more people are struggling with.
When you don’t have enough food to eat, you may reduce the quantity or quality of the food you buy, eat less, or skip meals entirely. It is one of several social determinants of health that affects how healthy you are. Inadequate access to food can result in poorer mental and physical health, social isolation, and employment difficulties.
Every province saw an increase in the number of households experiencing food insecurity in 2022, and 18.4% of Canadians reported being unable to afford the food they require. The rate is highest for Black people (39.2%) and Native Americans (33.4%), highlighting the prejudice and unfairness that racialized communities must deal with on a daily basis.
22% of the population (213,000 individuals) in Nova Scotia, including 31.4% of children under the age of 18, experience food poverty.
There are things you can do on a community level to assist those who are facing food insecurity, even if a long-term solution to food insecurity entails implementing policies that will increase income and address the socioeconomic causes of poverty.
Fall is in full swing, so now is an excellent time to support regional farmers and producers, especially if you can do so while simultaneously helping those in your neighborhood who need access to food. Community organizations can obtain food vouchers, known as “food bucks,” through the Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Nourishing Communities food coupon program to give to families who are food insecure. At one of the 33 participating markets spread out around the province, people utilize the vouchers to purchase food. Food bucks are frequently used at markets, therefore their use is not stigmatized. In fact, donors to the initiative have the option of choosing to receive half of their contributions in the form of food bucks that can be redeemed at their neighborhood farmers’ markets.
To make it simpler for people to get food and other necessities, churches, community organizations, and neighborhoods all throughout Nova Scotia have developed community pantries or cabinets. People are urged to leave what they can behind and take what they require. All visits are discreet.
Collect non-perishable supplies including pet and school supplies, canned goods, cereal, pasta, rice, granola bars, tea, and coffee. Toothpaste, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, dish detergent, and feminine hygiene items like pads and tampons are always in demand. Remember that during the winter, free-standing community cabinets might not be able to function normally. If the organizers want to operate inside during the winter, be sure to check with them.
Donate your time
Consider helping at the food bank or soup kitchen in your neighborhood if you want to provide the people in your community more practical assistance. Give your time voluntarily or, if you are financially able, donate money. Contributing money frequently enables staff to get the necessities.
Learn more on how to help our community at https://www.yourdoctors.ca/blog/healthy-living/food-insecurity
Photo by RDNE Stock project: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-placing-food-labelled-carboard-boxes-inside-the-trunk-of-a-white-van-6646904/