Opinion: 3 food security myths – debunked

(NC) Food plays a major part in our lives, and is tied to daily sustenance, healthy childhood development and lifelong memories with family and friends. The thought of going hungry may not enter our minds frequently, but for many Canadians, food insecurity is a constant reality.

Sarah Stern, leader of the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security, a registered charity with a goal to reduce food insecurity in Canada by 50 per cent by 2030, addresses three food insecurity myths.

Myth 1: Food insecurity is not a problem in Canada.

“Even though Canada is a country of considerable wealth and abundant farmland, more than 4.4 million Canadians struggle to access the food they need.,” says Stern. One in eight households and one in six children are affected by food insecurity, and this number rises 2.5-3.5 times among Indigenous and Black households. “Over the past decade there has been no decrease in food insecurity, and in some provinces the numbers are rising.”

Myth 2: More food is the answer.

Though expanded food donations and availability may seem like the solution for those who are food insecure, there is a strong link between poverty and food insecurity.

“Lack of money is the single greatest cause of food insecurity, not a lack of food,” explains Stern. “That’s why our team advocates for sustainable, structural solutions to food insecurity that pair poverty reduction with tangible support and resources for communities and individuals.”

Myth 3: People who are food insecure are unemployed.

“Sixty-five per cent of food insecure households rely on wages as their primary source of income,” says Stern. Precarious income leads to compromises in the quality and quantity of food and a lack of access to healthy, nourishing meals.

Learn more about how you can help end food insecurity at feedopportunity.com.

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