The Food Security Working Group of the Poverty Roundtable was established in the fall of 2016. For several years previously, the Food Security Network of Hastings & Prince Edward Counties (FSN) acted as a forum for information sharing and collaboration on actions to develop and promote food security and an environmentally sustainable, local and just food system. The new PRT Food Security Working Group includes some members from the former FSN, and new members are always welcome – please let us know if you would like more information or to get involved.
We are fortunate in H and PE counties to have a number of agencies taking action to address the issue of food security. There are a number of approaches and strategies that help to address the problem. And there is still much to be done!
Community Consultations on Ontario’s Provincial Food Strategy
On May 17th, 2017, 17 community members came together at the Poverty Roundtable of Hastings Prince Edward office in Belleville to discuss the Ontario Food Security Strategy concepts and give input into the provincial consultation. Additionally, consultations were held by Food Security Working Group members in North Hastings. Collectively participants in the consultation were made up of people who have and are experiencing food insecurity, urban agriculture experts, health workers, food program providers and volunteers, as well as members of our social services committee and members of municipal councils. Click here to read the response that was submitted.
Each May dietitians from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health conduct Nutritious Food Basket costing by surveying the price of food items from eight area grocery stores throughout Hastings and Prince Edward counties. The results of this survey are used to calculate the cost of one week’s worth of basic healthy groceries for 22 different age and gender groups, and a standard family of four.
The results of the 2016 food costing are presented in the report “The Real Cost of Eating Well in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties 2016.” The weekly cost of the nutritious food basket for a family of four is now $204.89. A family of four must spend $1,397 more this year than they did for the same groceries in 2011, a 13% increase over five years.
This online guide was developed by the Food Security Network of Hastings & Prince Edward Counties. Service providers as well as the public can use the guide to access information about emergency food services, meal programs, collective kitchens & cooking classes, food box programs, community gardens & local food initiatives, grocery delivery & transportation services, and student nutrition programs.
The guide has been divided into six geographic areas to make it easier for people to find programs and services specific to where they live. These geographic areas include Belleville, Central Hastings, North Hastings, Prince Edward County, Quinte West, and South East Hastings.