Table of Contents
Food Affordability and Food Insecurity
Food affordability affects food choices and food security. Whether food is affordable is more than the cost of food; it depends on our household expenses and income. Food Insecure households have inadequate or unreliable access to food because of financial constraints. Food insecurity affects our social, physical, and mental health and wellbeing in ways that can’t be explained by poor diet alone.
Because food insecurity is about more than food and nutrition, it cannot be solved by food charity. Food insecurity is a very sensitive indicator of poverty, and must be addressed by effective poverty responses. There are many potential responses that can reduce food insecurity in Grey Bruce including affordable housing and living wage policies, and affordable access to transportation.
Food Insecurity in Grey Bruce
For many years food banks in Canada have acted as a bandage by providing food to Canadians in need. However, 4 million Canadians remain food insecure despite the wide network of food banks, community kitchens, and other food charities. In Grey Bruce, this means that 11% of households are affected. Looking to the future, solutions that address the root causes of food insecurity are needed. The OSNPPH Food Insecurity Position Paper demonstrates why food charities like food banks cannot be the only efforts to achieve food security. If you have an interest in being involved in local food security efforts, please connect with the Food Security Action Group of the Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force.
Locate a Food Bank
Providing a limited supply of food to Grey Bruce residents in need is the primary role of local food banks. To find out more about your local food bank and other food security programs visit the website for the Feed Ontario (https://feedontario.ca/) or www.211ontario.ca or calling 211.
Surplus Food Donations
Each year in Canada a significant portion of the food that we produce is never eaten. This uneaten food can end up in landfills, where it contributes to accumulating waste and creates methane – a powerful greenhouse gas.
Check out the Resources section to help you prevent food loss and waste at all points in the food system.
Safely Donating Food
- Establish and maintain safe food handling protocols, many facilities and institutions have these in place if they are permitted food facility
- Train all food handlers on proper food safety practices. For Food Safety Certification Courses visit the Grey Bruce Health Unit website under Food Safety
- There are specific guidelines for Child Nutrition Programs and Volunteers
- Ensure food handlers wash their hands properly and frequently
- Do not allow food handlers to work when ill. Open sores must be covered
- Maintain proper food temperatures. If cooling food, ensure food fully cools prior to donation
- Determine safe packaging, storage, and labeling requirements - Food safety on specific food types
- Establish pick-up/drop-off and transportation methods
- If donating regularly, utilize a log sheet for tracking food donations including food product name, amount, and temperature
- Consider diverting the food to personal composting system or use municipal composting facilities if you can’t donate it. Contact your municipality to see if they offer compost or organics recycling services. If you would like to find recycling and waste management information for your specific area, you can refer to Stewardship Ontario for a listing of municipal Blue Box programs. The site contains links to each municipality and information on what can be recycled
Second Harvest Food Rescue
In considering risk, everyone is protected by provincial legislation, such as Ontario’s Donation of Food Act, 1994, when food is donated in good faith.
For large surplus food volumes download the Food Donor Package, or go to FoodRescue.ca to learn more about food rescue in your own community.
Resources for Educators: Just Eat It – For Educators
Curriculum for Schools: Ontario Eco Schools Waste Minimization Resources
A Guide to Waste Audits and Waste Reduction Work Plans for the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Sectors
Community Food Program Donation Tax Credit for Farmers
Guelph Food Waste Research Projects
Recycling Council of Ontario
York Region – Good Food
The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity
Greenhouse gas calculator for waste management
Love Food Hate Waste Canada
National Zero Waste Council – Food
North American Initiative on Food Waste and Organic Waste
Waste Reduction Week Canada October 21-27, 2019 (Food Waste Day October 25, 2019)
The Bruce Grey Food Charter
A food charter is a statement of values and principles to guide a community’s food policy. All community members have been invited to participate in the Charter`s creation since we are all stakeholders in the production, processing, consumption, and disposal of food. Community leaders can use a charter to define the food, water, and agriculture goals for Bruce Grey and guide decision-making.
Budget Friendly Information Sheets and Recipes
Visit UnlockFood.ca for more information on Food Choices when Money is Tight - Budget Friendly Information Sheets and Recipes