Reducing household food insecurity and enhancing community food access requires a multi-sectoral, multi-faceted approach.
To make an impact, we must understand and correctly use the following terms to develop, implement, monitor, and measure our work in Simcoe County.
Living on a low income is not a personal choice. Systems, structures, and policies can impact a person’s income and earning potential starting from birth.
Think of poverty as:
not having enough food
trouble affording rent or being homeless
having a hard time finding and keeping employment
lower levels of education
stress and difficulty accessing quality health care
This material deprivation, particularly a lack of education and employment and poor mental health, further perpetuates low income.
TALK ABOUT ENDING POVERTY
Gain an understanding of what it’s like to live in poverty, such as exploring poverty simulator software or reading local reports on the Simcoe County Poverty Reduction Task Group.
Speak to elected officials about decent, affordable housing, high-quality, affordable child care, food insecurity, affordable, accessible public transit
Join a group or coalition working on ending poverty.
Advocate for income security policies and programs to end poverty, e.g., a guaranteed basic income.
Adapted from: SMDHU Low Income FOCUS Report, October 2017
HOUSEHOLD FOOD INSECURITY
Household food insecurity is experienced when an individual or household lacks the financial resources to access food. Addressing household food insecurity requires specific income-related interventions.
Think of this as people not having enough money to buy food.
HOUSEHOLD FOOD INSECURITY
When someone is experiencing food insecurity, they are likely struggling with other basic
needs as well, for example, inadequate or insecure housing, lack of money for necessities
such as prescription medications, dental care, telephone, transportation, clothing, and
struggling with depression, anxiety, and social isolation.
Adapted from: Household Food Insecurity in Canada - Proof
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
THINK OF FOOD SECURITY AS:
The range of things that need to be in place at a system level for all people at all times to be able to access food in a dignified way so they can live a healthy and active life.
Fosters a sustainable local food system, strengthens local food supply, and builds food sovereignty.
COMMUNITY FOOD ACCESS
Food access and availability at the community level. It studies the local food system to measure the production and provision of food available to the public through retailers, farmer’s markets, community gardens, food programs, and temporary food relief programs.
COMMUNITY FOOD ACCESS DOES NOT SOLVE POVERTY
Community food access initiatives can address immediate food needs, support skill development, build community, and foster relationships.
These programs can provide temporary food relief but cannot address the root causes of poverty and household food insecurity.
Income security policies and programs are needed to solve household food insecurity and end poverty.