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  Food Security

Canada’s Unsustainable Food SystemPoverty and hunger in both urban and rural Canada are “consequences that can be linked directly or indirectly with Canada’s unsustainable food system.”  This is the conclusion of Chryslyn Pais, a recent graduate, whose undergraduate paper, Causes and Consequences of an Unsustainable Food System, published in Esurio: Journal of Hunger and Poverty, suggests that the market commodity nature of our current food system – when combined with unsustainable practices in the production, consumption, distribution and transportation of food – have left us with a broken system. Access Chryslyn’s paper here.

A Gathering Storm - A new report released by the Ontario Association of Food Banks, reveals that the recent rise in food, gasoline, and energy prices is beginning to affect low-income families and food banks across the province. OAFB has also produced an accompanying online video. Download the report here.

Food Bank Use High in 2007 - HungerCount 2007 reveals that 720,231 individuals used a food bank at least once in the month of March 2007. Thirty-nine percent of users were under the age of 18, 28 percent were part of single-parent families, 14 percent reported being employed, and 51 percent were on social assistance. Download the full report here. [Source: Charity Village]

Alphabet City 2007 - Alphabet City is an annual multidisciplinary festival that combines politics, policy, visual art, innovation, theatre, music, and connections between the arts and sciences to encourage debate and create a context for action. This year's theme is FOOD because Alphabet City believes food is connected to every major problem being raised in Ontario's election campaign. To read the festival's open letter to citizens and politicians, click here or learn more about the festival by visiting their website here. [Source: Alphabet City]

How Super is US Market for Tesco? - British grocery giant Tesco plans to roll out 100 stores in the western United States during the next year - many of them in the kinds of places other supermarkets won't go. Learn more here. [Source: Marketplace]

Ingredients for Learning - Meal Exchange has launched Ingredients for Learning, an online knowledge centre to help students learn more about hunger in Canada, youth volunteerism, non-profit management and social innovation. Visit the website here. [Source: Meal Exchange]

More Working Poor Relying on Food Banks - Working Canadians are struggling to stay above the poverty line and are increasingly turning to food banks to make ends meet, according to HungerCount 2006. The annual study shows the percentage of food bank clients who are part of Canada's workforce increased this year. The study also showed that children account for 41% of food bank clients, although they make up only about a quarter of Canada's population. Download HungerCount 2006 here. [Source: Charity Village]

Healthful Living Through Fresher Shopping - The Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative is the most ambitious of a spate of state and local projects that represent a different model for public nutrition programs. Instead of subsidizing shoppers, the projects shift the emphasis to the private sector, offering coaching and financial inducements for grocers to go into areas they shunned for decades. Read this article from the Washington Post here. [Source: HandsNet WebClipper]

Who’s Hungry - Food bank use across the GTA has risen a dramatic 79% since 1995. The results of Daily Bread’s annual survey paint a picture that cannot be ignored of the struggles and financial plight of the diverse population relying on food banks. The 894,017 people who accessed emergency food services last year through GTA food banks, 38% of whom were children, would not go hungry if the issue of poverty were addressed. So, in conjunction with the report, Daily Bread advances the Blueprint to Fight Hunger. Download the full report here. [Source: Csrl-news]

Hunger in America 2006 - This comprehensive profile of the incidence and nature of hunger and food insecurity in the U.S. provides extensive demographic profiles of emergency food clients at charitable feeding agencies and comprehensive information on the nature and efficacy of local agencies in meeting the food security needs of clients. The study is the largest of its kind. Learn more here. [Source: Csrl-news]

Food Bank Use Up Across the Country - The number of people who use a food bank in Canada is greater than the entire population of New Brunswick, says a new report on hunger. Download the full report here. [Source: CBC]

Link Between Hunger & Obesity Requires Attention - A joint analysis released by the Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) shows how hunger and obesity not only pose separate and distinct health risks, but also can co-exist in the same household. The apparent paradox of expanding waistlines and persistent hunger and food insecurity in America is driven in part by the economics of buying food. Households without money to buy enough food first change their purchasing and eating habits - relying on cheaper, high calorie foods over more expensive, nutrient-rich foods - before they cut back on the amount of food. Learn more here. [Source: HandsNet WebClipper]

Low Income Kids Height Doesn't Measure Up - A new study finds that in the United States millions of children go hungry or lack proper nutrients - and it's taking a serious toll on those American children's health and development. New research from pediatricians at the University of Michigan Health System takes a closer look at the influence nutrient intake and activity levels, especially among children in low-income families, has on a child's growth by age 4. After analyzing data on ethnically and economically diverse children, the study revealed that children from low-income families, at or below the poverty level, had lower birth weights and were measurably shorter by age one than children from higher-income families, based on average growth rates of children. Learn more here. [Source: HandsNet WebClipper]

Work Stress Affects Low Income Eating Habits - Cornell University researchers find that workers in low-paying, inflexible jobs report that they have inadequate time and energy to feed their families well. The spillover effects of their jobs threaten food intake of their families and result in feelings of guilt and inadequacy.Read more here. [Source: HandsNet WebClipper]

Consequences of Hunger & Food Insecurity - The Center on Hunger and Poverty report, The Consequences of Hunger and Food Insecurity for Children, highlights an array of recent research findings that depict the adverse consequences of hunger and food insecurity for children. This document groups a number of recent research findings into three broad areas: health consequences, psychosocial and behavioral impacts, and learning and academic outcomes. A section on the relationship between food insecurity and obesity is also included, since this is an issue receiving growing attention. Copies are available both in print and online. Download the full report here.

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