The phrase “food insecurity” refers to being without a regular or reliable source of nutritious or affordable food.
Those who struggle with food insecurity, often times don’t know where their next meal may come from. Food insecurity isn’t exclusive to adults either.
Thousands of families, and by extension children and youth, struggle everyday with the effects of food insecurity.
According to a report by Alberta Health Services1, 1 in 10 households– including those marginally food insecure– experienced household food insecurity in 2012 across Alberta. Of those food insecure households, nearly 8 out of 10 relied on employment earnings as their main source of income, and were still not able to afford enough food for every person living in their home.
Looking to your neighbours, to your co-workers, to your child’s classmates, any one of those people could be struggling with food insecurity.
A common misconception about food insecurity is that it only affects those living in poverty. We often don’t see how it affects those around us.
While it is absolutely true that food insecurity affects those in poverty, due to the shame and embarrassment that can accompany it, we often don’t see exactly how many people struggle with food insecurity.
A 2018 I Can for Kids program recipient explained that due to financial abuse from their partner, they were receiving little money and struggled to put food on the table. “It was so important for my children to have good, nutritious food in their tummies. We are grateful for all the support and love and care provided.”
For a number of reasons, such as job loss or a health crisis, thousands of our neighbours in Calgary struggle to put food on the table everyday.
As a result, thousands of children and youth go hungry in Calgary. Those who rely on school nutrition programs often times face a hungry summer.
Rather than being excited to be out of school and enjoy their summer, children and youth who struggle with food insecurity will spend their summer worrying about where their next meal will come from.
No child should ever go hungry. Every kid should be able to enjoy their summer, free of worry.
Become a summer superhero and help feed kids across Calgary this summer by donating today.
- Alberta Health Services. (2017). Household food insecurity in Alberta: A backgrounder.