Traced Elements contributor, change-agent and local gardening guru, Dawn Johnson spoke recently on food security in this podcast with host Kim Slater, for the Community Foundation of Whistler’s Vital Signs project.
Listen to the conversation here.
Global food security is not looking great, shared Dawn, so we need to look at building our resiliency, on a grassroots level, right now.
Food security is a complex issue that touches the entire food system – it’s about a lot more than answering the question: “In our area do we have enough food to feed our people?”
It’s about people being able to access food, and in BC the biggest barrier for food security isn’t related to how much food we can grow here, or what the food cost is, but to how much income people have available to spend on food.
Some great organizations are working on this through the corridor and that’s a strength – Helping Hands Society in Squamish, the Whistler Food Bank, the Pemberton Food Bank, Stewardship Pemberton Society.
1 in 6 children in BC belong to families who are concerned that they don’t feel they’re feeding them as weak as they could.
Food production is getting more challenging for growers, with climate being more erratic.
Food costs in BC have been increasing by 10% in the past 10 years, but over that time, our wages have only increased by 2.5%. People with lower incomes are spending so much more of their income on food. Someone on social assistance spends 44% of their income on food. There’s a clear correlation between income and food security. We need to support people to have better income in order to address food security.