Nourish Calls on Health Sector to Address Food Insecurity in Canada
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saskatoon (September 20, 2023)
The national Nourish Food for Health Symposium kicks off today in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with a central theme around the hidden costs of Canadian food insecurity on health and the need for policy shifts. From heightened
chronic conditions linked to inadequate access to food to the pressures that food insecurity puts on the health care system — identifying solutions to addressing these issues is essential in enabling health and well-being in communities throughout Canada.
“At Nourish, we see a significant opportunity for the health care sector to address the root issues like food insecurity with improved policies and investments for more preventative health strategies,” said Jen Reynolds, Co-Executive Director of Nourish. “The Food for Health Symposium provides a space to connect and explore the policies and financial commitment required to improve food access, tackle health inequities, and support more sustainable food systems,” continued Reynolds.
“In Canada, 18.4% of people are impacted by food insecurity, including one in four children, which is why the Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security and Nourish are working together to address the health inequities that stem from lack of access to food. It is especially urgent to support the communities most impacted by food insecurity, including the Indigenous and Black households than experience food insecurity rates two to three times higher than the national average,” said Sarah Stern, Leader of Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security.
The pandemic has placed a tremendous burden on our health care system and record-high food prices and climate-related food supply chain interruptions will only continue to exacerbate food insecurity in Canada. Food prescription programs are being piloted and are gaining attention allowing health care workers to provide nourishing foods to patients and communities in need, but prescriptions alone won’t address the deeper systemic issues at hand. Nourish continues to work in partnership with The Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security and other allies to build awareness
around the compelling need for action to reduce food insecurity and exploring opportunities with the health sector to advocate for bold policies that invest in upstream causes to address poverty and enable food security for all in Canada.
Nourish empowers health care to embrace food as medicine to advance health equity, climate action, and community well-being. We work to harness the untapped and neglected power of food in health care to transition to food and health systems that build health for patients and the planet.
The Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security (“the Centre”) is a registered charity committed to working collaboratively to reduce food insecurity in Canada by 50% by 2030. The Centre advocates for critical public policies and invests in knowledge building and programs that advance the capacity of people and communities to achieve sustainable food security. The Centre was created in 2016 and is governed by a board of directors, including four independent experts.
Saskatchewan Health Authority is the largest organization in Saskatchewan, employing more than 40,000 employees and physicians. Together, we are responsible for the delivery of safe, high quality health care for the entire province.
CHEP Good Food For over 30 years, CHEP Good Food has operated within a capacity building model, working with children, families, and communities to improve access to good food and promote food security so that we can achieve our vision of a food secure community.
Media Contact: Lana Brandt, Communications Manager
Phone: 778.833.2954 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
September 20, 2023