Updated: Feb 28, 2019
Imagine not having the money to put healthy food on the table. Or enough money left over to then pay for rent and other basics like toilet paper, toothpaste, clothing, school supplies and phone bills.
This is the reality for one in eight households (about 70,000 people) in Simcoe Muskoka. And it is heart breaking to know that more than 1,000 children and youth go to school or bed hungry.
Food insecurity, or not having enough money for food, contributes to poor physical and mental health for children, teens and adults, and leads to more illness including chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Health care use and costs are also affected. Health care costs are 121% higher per year for the most food insecure households.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is currently running a campaign called “No Money for Food is Cent$less”. The campaign focuses on providing information to help raise awareness about household food insecurity (insecure or inadequate access to food due to financial constraints). The campaign also shares ideas of how residents, businesses, and other organizations can advocate for policies that help make sure everyone has enough money for safe, nutritious, and affordable food.
Examples are policies that:
increase social assistance rates to match real living costs, indexed to inflation;
support fair workplaces and good jobs with regular hours and benefits;
increase minimum wage; and
provide a basic income for all Ontarians
There are ways you can get involved in helping to encourage these policies. These ideas include:
· sharing one of the videos posted on the No Money for Food is Cent$less website on your own social media accounts;
· contacting your local MP or MPP to express your concerns about household food insecurity in your community; and
· writing a letter to the Premier and all provincial party leaders letting them know you support income solutions so families can put food on the table.
For more information please call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or toll free: 1-877-721-7520.