In my efforts to contribute to the Unite for Hunger and Hope event, I did a bit of research on the topic to get numbers, facts and figures. I was hit by a great rush of sites and sources that sent my head spinning. Dying children in Africa, droughts that are making growing grains harder and harder, innumerable numbers of causes, organizations, campaigns…And of all the shocking information I found, these hit home :
According to Food Banks Canada, over 70,000 Canadians need food banks in Canada to eat every month. Out of those, 50.3% are families with children, because children under the age of 18 years old count for 37% of that number.
Food Banks Canada defines “working poor” as families where work does not pay enough to live and eat. 1.9 million families in Canada fit that definition. That number having increased from 6% in 1989 to 14,5% in 2008.
For all my readers that are not Canadian, keep in mind that the population of Canada is just a bit over 33,6 million.
I found the defintion of FOOD SECURITY on Meal Exchange :
“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”
The five components of food security are as follows :
- Availability: Sufficient food for all people at all times;
- Accessibility: Physical and economic access to food for all at all times;
- Adequacy: Access to food that is nutritious and safe, and produced in environmentally sustainable ways.
- Acceptability: Access to culturally acceptable food, which is produced and obtained in ways that do not compromise people's dignity, self-respect or human rights.
- Agency: The policies and processes that enable the achievement of food security.
The causes of poverty in Canada, according to Food Banks Canada, are surprising and many :
- Shortage of full-time jobs with stable, livable wages
- Income security system that fails to protect those in need
- Lack of affordable social housing
- Lack of affordable and accessible child care
Thank you for reading.
What will you do to help fight hunger in your city/country?