Food for all?

A sketch of an empty community fridge, with two people standing in front of it.
Trying to solve the food insecurity problem via small donations to a community fridge is like trying to empty the ocean one teaspoon at a time. OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay, manipulated by Lee Lim

Food insecurity continues to be a looming threat

Food insecurity is a crisis that has its arms across the world as it branches out, starting in our homes, neighbourhoods, and communities.  

Food insecurity refers to the inability of individuals or households to access sufficient, safe, and nutritious food for an active and healthy life. On similar discussions, food insecurity stems from a lot of factors. “The issue isn’t that we do not have enough food, the issue is the price of foods, how we share the foods, along with all the reason why people come to a food bank,” said David Froh, Vice President of Community at Regina Food Bank.  

Addressing the problem of food insecurity, food banks like Regina Food Bank have come to the rescue. In a latest interview with Froh, discussions around scarcity and health impacts of food insecurity were discussed. “We have more than enough food in this world to feed the people that need it. The issue is how we share that food and the cost of that food,” he said. “People do not come to a food bank because they are hungry. They come because they can’t make a living wage, they can’t afford rent. Food banks treat the symptom, not the cause, of challenges in our economy and community.” 

Food insecurity is not uniform across Saskatchewan, with some regions and communities experiencing higher rates than others. Support systems like Regina Food Bank help fight this problem and bring people together to support each other. Their website states, “[They] are a charitable community-based organization working to fight food insecurity through nutritious food distribution, education, and support programs.”  

“We have increased 42 per cent working over 15,000 people this month. The challenge is one in five children, and one in five households are food insecure in our province. That means many thousands of people can’t access food bank services because we are simply at capacity,” said Froh. He mentioned about the community collaboration to address the problem; “Food bank can’t address food insecurity by ourselves. It takes university students, activists, governments, and businesses.” 

“For one, adults in governments are good at finding reasons to say no. And students are, in my view, good at finding solutions. So, identifying policies and great ideas that have worked around the world and advocating it here at home… using your voice… students have a strong voice” says Froh. It will take everyone working together to help mitigate the growing number of households as victims of food insecurity. In the face of adversity, it is the community that comes to rescue for the betterment of the society.  

 “Food insecurity creates higher risks of anxiety, higher rates of diabetes, blood pressure, heart diseases, and premature deaths. It makes us sick. It costs our community money,” said Froh. Health impacts on all citizens affect the growth of the community, reflecting poor resource availability and lack of intervention for growth.  

Initiatives and community support such as Regina Food Bank continue to treat hunger and build a world where no one goes to bed hungry. With the staggering growth of people turning to food banks, it is important to focus on addressing the root causes of this problem and give the citizens a path to a better future in Saskatchewan – a place to be.  


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