Friday, October 2, 2009

Make Poverty History

This week we're having a canned food drive, so the eco-challenge is focusing on poverty. I'll have some of the following tid-bits of information on display along with some canned food.

"Poverty and environmental degradation go hand and hand. The lower your income in this country, the higher the likelihood that you will be exposed to toxics at home and on the job. The greater the risk that you will suffer from diseases -- ranging from asthma to cancer -- caused or exacerbated by environmental factors. The harder it will be for you to find and afford healthy food to put on your table. The less likely you are to live in a community that provides safe outdoor spaces for you and your family to enjoy. And, as recent history tragically exposed, the more vulnerable you are to environmental catastrophes, whether they are natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina or human-made tragedies like the Exxon Valdez.
In short, the worst consequences of environmental degradation are visited on the homes, workplaces, families, and bodies of the poor." (from here)

Second Harvest is a Toronto organization that collects perishable food about to be tossed out from grocery stores and restaurants and delivers them to food banks throughout the city. It started with just one person who saw food waste and hunger side by side and did something about it. What would it take to do that in our community?

Ontario recently passed a poverty reduction act which intends to reduce the number of children living in poverty by 25% in the next five year.

70% of all low-income children in Ontario live in families where at least one parent is working part-time or full-time, yet the families are unable to earn enough to lift family income above the poverty line. (from here)

Make Poverty History has an on-line form that people can submit directly to Stephen Harper to encourage him to make poverty a larger issue at the next G8 (G20) meeting in Haliburton next June (pictured here). Haliburton's beautiful, but do they realize June is the only month with mosquitoes and black flies? June is the only month I don't go to the cabin. Anyway, the form takes less than a minute to complete and send. Click on the link to make a change.

(It's not folding today.)

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