An Upstream Take on Food Bank Giving This Holiday Season

It’s that time of year when hunger drives are in full swing. There’s huge push for donations of food, funds, and time to food banks in communities across the country. 

Here in Saskatchewan we have, for example, the CBC’s Comfort and Joy Campaign. While I appreciate the efforts the CBC and many other organizations go to in order to raise awareness about hunger in the lead up to the holidays, as a food security researcher and advocate, I’m left wondering how we can have a more upstream public conversation about this important problem.

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Six things you need to know about Child Poverty in SK

Before we can take action, we must first take measure. When poverty among on reserve First Nations children is included, the rate of child poverty in Saskatchewan increases significantly. An understanding of how child poverty is calculated sheds light on the extent of the problem and the road to better results.

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Learning from turkeys

Have you ever witnessed an act of generosity, compassion and determination that just took your breath away? It's times like these that teach us what a real gift is — how to truly honour each other.

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Removing barriers one step at a time

Human rights have so much to do with health and wellness at both individual and community levels. The ability to defend one's rights on the basis of Gender Identity is no exception. In honour of International Human Rights Day, Saskatoon activist and artist Miki Mappin tells her story of working toward equal rights for transgender-identified people in the province of Saskatchewan. 

"There are many issues impacting transgender people that have serious implications for our health; caused by intolerance, discrimination in housing, employment, education and in accessing health care. We felt that if we could get explicit human rights protection under the Code, it would be the most important first step to removing the barriers against transgender people leading healthy and productive lives."

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Bring on the Debate: Public Health gets Political

Earlier this week an article on the evils of public health officials thinking upstream was featured on the Globe and Mail's Debate page entitled "Public health officers should focus on disease, not politics". In this piece, the author, Peter Shawn Taylor, a contributor to Maclean's and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said that "Public health ought to stick to their needles, and leave the economy alone."

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Give Health A Chance: Peace as a Social Determinant of Health

This Remembrance Day, the poppies on lapels hold new meaning for many Canadians . . . our remembering needs to go beyond black-and-white photos of the great wars and include the very real effects of recent and current conflicts.

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The story of why I sold off most of my possessions and why I’m giving all the money away.

A blog from Jayden Soroka.

In September of this year I had a living estate sale. Basically, I went around my house and sold off everything I didn’t need or use on a regular basis.
Why did I do this? Over a year ago my friend Vivian and I started a campaign to recreate a guaranteed income experiment, called Mincome, that happened in the 1970’s in Dauphin, Manitoba. 

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SDOH pioneer Sir Michael Marmot elected next president of the World Medical Association

Exciting news, Sir Michael Marmot is president-elect of the World Medical Association! 

Sir Michael has been one of the leaders in establishing and popularizing the concept of the social determinants of health (SDOH) and their role in influencing whether people lives will be long or short, whether they will be ill or well. Here at Upstream, we want to recognize and celebrate the work people are doing around the SDOH. Sir Michael Marmot is perhaps the pre-eminent example of an upstream thinking in action.

 
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The Case for Basic Income

A Blog by Vivian Belik

In 2006 I was working as an editor at my university newspaper, the Uniter, when I came across a fascinating story. One of our writers, Whitney Light, wrote a piece on a professor that was studying a town in Manitoba that had managed to eliminate poverty. It sounded like a fairytale story. 

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Poverty Costs Saskatchewan Released!

Report_thumb.PNGWe're pleased to announce the release of the Poverty Costs report, entitled Poverty Costs Saskatchewan: A New Approach to Prosperity for All. The report gives an overview of poverty in Saskatchewan and its costs, and provides evidence for the need for a comprehensive poverty reduction plan for Saskatchewan. You can find the report and the Executive Summary on the Poverty Costs Resources page.

We hope that you'll take a look at the report and circulate it widely. Thanks so much to the report authors: Upstream Policy Director, Charles Plante and Upstream Think Tank Coordinator, Keisha Sharp. And a big thanks to all of the campaign team members that contributed their time and expertise to this project!

 

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