A new study has reported fantastic news from Newfoundland-Labrador! The province is now experiencing the lowest levels of food insecurity of any province in the country, with particular progress seen among those receiving income assistance. This shifts correlates directly with the implementation of NFL's poverty reduction plan. This is wonderful 'upstream' news, as we know that access to affordable, healthy food is an essential component to our health.
“2011 jumped off the page for us,” she said on Saturday.
For that year the percentage of households affected by food insecurity in the province was 10.6 per cent — the lowest rate of food insecurity in Canada. The rate of food insecurity among households on income assistance in Newfoundland and Labrador fell from 60 per cent in 2007 to 34 per cent in 2012 — a period the study says coincides with a number of policy changes launched under the province’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.
The strategy is described on the provincial government’s website as “a government-wide approach to promoting self-reliance, opportunity, and access to key supports for persons vulnerable to poverty.” It also says the strategy currently includes more than 80 ongoing initiatives to help groups most vulnerable to food insecurity.
Although the period of time studied by Tarasuk and her group also coincides with a period of increasing economic wealth in the province, she says that’s not what caused the decrease in food insecurity. It’s not even about fewer people being on income support, she said.
“It’s about those people being less vulnerable.”
“This thing is so tightly tied to health,” Tarasuk said.
Children in food insecure houses have been shown to have poorer health that can cause long-term problems for them throughout life. Tarasuk also mentioned the massive health-care savings that can result from reducing food insecurity in homes.
Read the entire article here: Josh Pennell, "N.L's food insecurity dramatically reduced: study," The Telegram, June 9, 2014.
Did you know that only two provinces still don't have comprehensive poverty reduction strategies in the works?