Huron County, ON – With less than two weeks to go before the election, the Huron County Health Unit and Ontario Dietitians in Public Health (ODPH) are urging individuals and organizations to contact provincial party leaders about the need for immediate action on food insecurity – a serious public health problem. An easy-to-submit e-letter to party leaders is available at odph.ca/individual-what-can-i-do.
One in eight Ontario households does not have enough money for food. That includes almost half a million children. “In a county as agriculturally productive as Huron, it is unacceptable that so many families and individuals cannot afford to put food on the table,” said Amy MacDonald, Registered Dietitian and ODPH member.
Food insecurity takes a tremendous toll on the physical, mental and social health for people of all ages and costs our healthcare system considerably. In Ontario, the people who are the most food insecure can have health care costs up to 121% higher than people who are food secure.
“Food insecurity is rooted in poverty. It is not a problem that can be solved with food,” MacDonald stated. “We need policies that lead to more money for food. Basic income guarantee and social assistance rates need to be geared to the real cost of living. It’s the only way to significantly improve the lives of people struggling with food insecurity.”
Almost 60% of people experiencing food insecurity are employed. Strategies that address living wage and adequate benefits have also been identified as effective.
More information on ODPH’s “No Money for Food is…Cent$less” campaign is available at odph.ca/centsless.