Hastings-Prince Edward (HPE) has the second highest rate of food insecurity in Ontario. Based on data from the Canadian Community Health Survey 2012, 11.2% (or 11%) of households in HPE were food insecure. This means that one in nine households experienced food insecurity in 2012 which works out to more than 17,600 residents.
Formation of Working Group
Based on these local results, the HPE Children and Youth Services Network (CYSN) identified “Food Insecurity” as a red flag action item and struck a working group in April 2013, comprised of members of the CYSN and HPE Food Security Network.
After much research and discussion, this 20-member working group, chaired by Ruth Ingersoll (Community Development Council of Quinte) and Steve Van de Hoef (Community Member), agreed to embark on a food reclamation pilot project called Second Helpings that would divert surplus perishable foods from food producers and facilitate its distribution to organizations who serve individuals experiencing food insecurity. A tip sheet on Food Safety for Donated Foods! was developed by the Health Unit in December 2013 to support the project.
Second Helpings Project Launch
Launched at Loyalist College on April 17th, 2014, Second Helpings was responsible for linking Loyalist College food service provider, Aramark, with the volunteers at Bridge Street United Church’s Inn From the Cold and TGIF programs. Please see BELLEVILLE NEWS and BELLEVILLE INTELLIGENCER.
Throughout the fall, the working group will be looking at governance options for Second Helpings in order to make it sustainable. To help inform this process, a representative from Kingston’s Loving Spoonful will be presenting at their next meeting on September 12th, 9:30-11:30am, Community Development Council of Quinte (CDC), 65 Station Street, Belleville.
The group will also be releasing a package of material to help Network members donate leftover food from meetings to recipient organizations in a safe and efficient manner.
Call To Action
Any organization interested in donating or receiving food, or supporting the sustainability of food reclamation in Hastings-Prince Edward is invited to email SecondHelpingsHPE@gmail.com or call the CDC at 613-968-2466.
Note: Please refer to Report Card 2013 for details about CYSN action issues. Next week’s blog will report on our second red flag action issue – “Kindergarten Students who are Developmentally at Risk.”