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No money for food is... CENT$LESS

 

 

It takes more than food to solve hunger!

Being food insecure means that one does not have access to the food they need. The stress of not being able to eat healthy food (or sometimes any food at all) usually leads to health problems. The main reason why people are food insecure is not having enough money. To solve this problem we need to focus on demanding proper income levels that match the cost of living. This will help bring back dignity to all individuals and families that are food insecure. 

 

 

Food insecurity in Timiskaming

In Timiskaming 9.4% of all families don`t have access to the food they need and a total of 18% live in low income.

According to the 2017 Nutritious Food Basket [NFB] results, which combines the cost of healthy eating and rent and compares it with families’ total income, those living in low-income are more likely to have a hard time putting food on the table. For example, a single parent with 2 children living on Ontario works would have only around $900 left after paying food and rent; this amount would have to cover for other equally important expenses such as clothing, medication or heating. To see this and other scenarios check the full 2017 NFB results.

 

When those other expenses become more important, people tend to find other ways to cut costs, and food tends to be the 1st choice, where strategies can go from eating smaller portions to not eating at all. For a better idea of the struggle people and families living in food insecurity live through, read THU’s 2016 report.

 

 

What to do? Raise your voice!

Initiatives such as food banks, community kitchens or community gardens are ways the community found to help those living in food insecurity and are considered short-term solutions.

While these things are very important, the issue can only be truly solved with actions that focus on providing proper income levels for all. Everyone from community members to politicians should be focusing on and advocating for these actions. A great example of these actions is the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, a monthly payment to eligible families or individuals that ensures a minimum income level, regardless of employment status.

 

Other examples are:

  • Increasing social assistance rates and linking them to the real cost of living
  • Creating policies that encourage good jobs with regular hours and benefits

What can you do, as a community member?

    Stay informed – learn more about food insecurity through the resources shared in this page; stay up to date on what is being done in Ontario to address this issue, including which local and provincial politicians support income-focused actions and their plans.

    Share the information – more people talking about food insecurity means more attention to the problem. Discuss it at family meals or at work, share our Cent$less campaign poster with family, friends and colleagues, or share the campaign videos in your social media.

Raise your voice – take the next step needed to address food insecurity – let those responsible for taking action know of your concerns and share your ideas for effective solutions. As Ontario prepares for provincial and municipal elections in 2018, help us make food insecurity an issue for discussion! How?

  • Go to this webpage and send a prepared e-letter to the leaders of the 4 main political parties in the province – just fill the information!
  • Send this letter to local candidates for the main political parties (John Vanthof [NDP], Margaret Williams [PC], Liberal and Green party)
  • Make food insecurity an issue for discussion at the federal level through your local Member of Parliament (MP) – send them this letter! (Anthony Rota for Temiskaming Shores and south and Charlie Angus for all others municipalities north of Temiskaming Shores)
  • Want your words to be received in person? Print this postcard and send it by mail to the current Premier of Ontario. The postcard will be available in your local post-office and other public places around your community. Even after the provincial election is essential to keep raising our voice for this issue.
  • Food banks are still essential to help those who have a hard time putting food on the table. Use this Food Donation Resource to inform your food bank donations and share with the community when doing food drives.

If you are in need of a food bank or know someone who is in need, check out our local and charitable food map. 

More Cent$less campaign resources:

YouTube Videos (From Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit)

*Cent$less Campaign adapted with permission of Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

For more information:

The impact of food insecurity in health – factsheet PROOF
Public policy and food insecurity – factsheet PROOF
Children and food insecurity – factsheet PROOF
Food insecurity and social assistance – factsheet PROOF
Position Statement on responses to food insecurity – Ontario Dietitians in Public Health

Cost of Eating Well in Timiskaming 2016 - Report
Cost of Eating Well in Timiskaming 2016 - Infographic

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