Linking Poverty & Poor Nutrition

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One of my favourite pastimes is looking up recipes on Pinterest and being able to cook new and exciting meals for my friends.

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When you make your grocery list, you might be thinking of recipes for your family that include fresh ingredients such as vegetables, milk and meat.

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Unfortunately, for some people in our community, trying many of these new recipes is a luxury they don’t have because they can’t access fresh ingredients.   Many of our neighbours struggle to afford any food let alone food that’s healthy and nutritious. This can lead to choices between filling your belly with healthy items or filling your belly with empty calories to avoid hunger.

You’ve seen it at the grocery store – the chips, ramen noodles and other processed foods are so much cheaper than what’s in the produce section. I find sales all the time on microwave dinners and sugary cereals, but rarely deals on ingredients for my next salad. Considering how low our dollar currently is, it’s hard for many to afford any fresh produce at all.

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Lack of proper nutrition is linked to low incomes and food is the most flexible item in a family budget.  During tough financial times, people will purchase the cheaper items in order to save money.  In fact, 54% of North York Harvest’s clients have reported skipping meals in order to pay for bills such as rent, utilities, transportation and food for their children.  33% of our clients go without food at least one day a week.

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A poor diet can also prove disastrous to one’s health as well.  Some effects of a poor diet include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight Gain
  • Lowered Immunity
  • Diabetes
  • Dental Problems (bleeding gums, cavities)
  • Poor Sleep
  • Moodiness

Here at North York Harvest, we strive to provide healthy food items and food education to our community. Every month over 15,000 people depend on North York Harvest for hampers of food.

IMG_5226Because of the need for nutritious items in a food hamper, we often resort to food purchasing because food donations alone will not provide fresh items such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy and protein.  This is why we have started the Build a Hamper campaign to aide in purchasing these items to support low-income families that need them.

 

You can help ensure that families receive healthy food items and don’t have to struggle with side effects of poor nutrition. Please help us take our food hampers to the next level. Your donations will purchase nutritious items and make sure that no child, parent or grandparent goes without enough healthy food.

Next time when you’re out buying groceries for your next nutritious meal think about picking up some items for your neighbours in need.  Here is a list of suggested food items.

 

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