Food insecurity - not just about food...
A growing concern
The pandemic brought the food insecurity problem into bright relief for many in Canada. Once thought of as only a problem for a minority of people, the numbers are now quite shocking with York Region alone showing a 62% increase in the amount of food given out by foodbanks ($8 million worth of food as of November 2023). And, sadly, the trend is expected to continue.
One thing that comes up time and again when it comes to food insecurity is that it’s not ultimately about supply and demand, it’s about income inequality. Many people are food insecure because they don’t have the money to buy the food they’d like to. It’s also hard because healthy food is becoming more and more expensive. This isn’t because those producing good, healthy food want to charge more, it’s because inflation is on the rise and governments and banks aren’t doing their part to help address the problem.
What can we do?
As individuals, it can be daunting when we see these large, systemic issues that seem inevitable. Tackling these things is not impossible though. Through grassroots efforts, paying attention to policies being enacted, educating ourselves about the underlying causes, and listening to those who are most deeply affected by these issues, we can make better choices ourselves - who to vote for, when to speak up at meetings, maybe even making deputations at city hall events when they ask for public feedback. I’ll offer some resources here for educational purposes. Above all, don’t be afraid to ask questions especially of politicians and policy makers for how their actions will help address these core issues.