The Goal: Food Secure Communities
There is a strong link between household income and food security. Income is also a strong predictor of health. According to the London Poverty Research Centre, food security exists when “all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy lifestyle." In London, low income families are finding it harder to meet their basic needs.
A Snapshot of London
The results of the 2015 Nutritious Food Basket Survey indicate that the cost of eating healthy for a single man receiving Ontario Works was roughly $290, or 39% of total monthly income. Average market rent for this single person was $616 monthly, or 83% of total monthly allotment. These expenses alone exceed income by 22%, and this is without considering clothing, toiletries, transportation or any other basic need. Each month this person would face a deficit of -$166.09 after receiving only $740 that month. Social assistance rates have been increasing on average 1% per year, while the cost of food rose nearly 4%. It is without any surprise that individuals purchase cheaper, less nutritious foods or skip meals to save money for other expenses.
Our Emergency Needs Food Cupboard
Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre has an Emergency Needs Food Cupboard where people living in Glen Cairn can access short term emergency food. This is not a solution to poverty, nor is it a solution to food insecurity. Rather, it is a means through which people can access food now so they are not hungry. The food cupboard also serves to introduce our agency to members of our community who may need additional assistance that we currently provide; including advocacy, children’s programs, information about government programs and other community and social services in London.
How to Run a Successful Food Drive
The ‘food kits’ we provide from our Food Cupboard consist mostly of non-perishable items including canned soups, spaghetti sauce, canned vegetables, noodles, canned meats and canned beans. GCCRC purchases food to stock the shelves of the food cupboard regularly, although we could not sustain this without the generous donations we receive from you! In order to make your next food drive easier, we’ve developed a ‘how to’ guide to help you.
Please watch the following Prezi: How to run a Successful Food Drive
Please contact me if you have any questions or if you would like to know how you can make a real difference in the lives of others now.
Sean Hunter, Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre