How do we nourish the minds of our children if we can't afford it?

Hunger is only one of the many negative impacts on children

2/17/20241 min read

Food insecurity significantly impacts children's health, well-being and development, with wide-spread consequences beyond just hunger. This issue is most common in low-income families with children. High unemployment rates and the rising costs of food have contributed to the highest level of children's food insecurity in decades.

The nutritional value of food consumed by families with food insecurity is very low, and also tends to be cheaper to purchase. This contributes to negative health outcomes like vitamin deficiencies, anemia, bone deformities, stunted growth and childhood obesity. These health issues could then affect the way a child performs in school, which leads to academic struggles and the possibility of lifelong disadvantages. Mental health is also affected, as anxiety and depression are linked to food insecurity.

Food insecurity is also tough on the parents of young children. It can impact their emotional connection and the way they take care of their children. In turn, this can also affect the well-being of a child. The cycle of food insecurity can instigate generational poverty as it can make it harder for these children to improve their socioeconomic status as adults.

Addressing food insecurity in Canada requires a multifaceted approach, focusing on improving the financial stability of vulnerable families, ensuring access to nutritious foods, and supporting policies that reduce poverty and inequality. As well, we should be enhancing the public pension systems and adjusting social assistance, child benefits and minimum wages.

Until food insecurity is reduced, The Lunchbox will continue to provide the families in our city with food items to help feed their children. We understand what it's like for the families we serve and our initiative is to ensure that no child goes hungry.