What I learned about Food Insecurity…

May 23, 2019  |  Education, Environmentalism, nutritower

I work for a company that believes blogs are an important tool in telling our customers and friends what we do, what we stand for, and what we believe in. Never having written a blog before, I volunteered to do my part and write one. How hard could it be? The topic they gave me was Food Insecurity in Canada.

Uh Oh.

I’m a 57 year old man who was born and raised in a large city in Canada. What in the world do I know about food insecurity? Not liking what Mom made for dinner is not food insecurity. Opening a fridge door and saying “there’s nothing to eat (when the fridge is full)” is not food insecurity. I did not grow up poor (or rich, for that matter), and there was always food on the table even if it was food I didn’t like.

So I started by researching as much as I could to learn about this topic and with every blog I read, every advocacy website I visited, and every person involved in addressing this problem that I talked to I became more and more appalled.

 

How is it even possible that 1 in 6 children in our country go hungry every single day? It feels so un-Canadian (and I’m a deeply proud and patriotic Canadian).

Some provinces don’t even measure food insecurity (if you don’t measure it, it’s not really a problem, right?), but among those that do, the LOWEST rate of food insecurity by province still exceeds 10% of households. And when we look north, far north, the number is a mind boggling 47%. Over 60% of children in Nunavut live in food insecure households. 60%!!!!!

So what can I do? What can anyone do?

In my case I joined Nutritower. Yes, it’s a business, but that’s not why I signed up. I wanted to be surrounded by people, most of them half my age, who truly and profoundly believe they can change the world. I thrive on their passion and am humbled by their lofty goals. I sign petitions. I’m learning where political candidates in my riding stand on the issue and I vote for them. I “share” messages from advocacy groups on Facebook. I “like” their initiatives. We go to schools and educate children. I’m growing my own food which I’ll happily give away.

I’m trying. Not as much as many others, but I’m trying.

Maybe we can’t change the world, but we can try to change a world. One voice makes a difference. Ten voices make a difference, a thousand voices make a difference. But a million voices make change. I’m going to be one of those voices.

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