food security- more then a determinant of health

Our results underscore not tance andor cuts in

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Unformatted text preview: including the tightening of ing that these families are fragile eligibility requirements for social assisalready. Our results underscore not tance and/or cuts in benefits. These only the fluidity of the circumstances years saw the highest level of income of hungry families but their preinequality in Canada in 20 years, with dictability. state. They are categorized as another mouth to feed (one or more siblings added to the household; change in the number of parents in the household); job loss (father lost full-time work; mother’s unemployment status changed); and health problems (mother’s health status worsened; child’s health status changed for either better or worse). Getting out of hunger depended upon one change only— mother gets a full-time job, and the family’s income rises accordingly. We calculated annual income changes for and the number of children. The National Child Benefit program has been critical in reducing poverty among working poor families in support of their children. Increases to these funds are applauded. It is critical that these funds also be transferred directly to social assistance families who have lost ground in most provinces because of clawback, holdback and integrated child benefit schemes that have then resulted in real income declines and increased poverty among recipients. The fluidity of the number of hungry families is consistent with recent policy trends in Canadian society that have created dislocations in work and have increased restrictions on access to social assistance and employment insurance, making it harder for families to get by during times of difficulty or when the family is stressed with a new addition to the household. Our finding regarding the relationship between hunger and precipitous income decline is alarming given the direction of public policy and economic trends over the last two decades, directions likely to encourage sharp losses in income. It is significant that seasonal employment and the tendency towards a casual labour force—part-time and temporary olicy recommendations Our finding regarding the relationship between hunger to address food insecuriand precipitous income decline is alarming given the ty and hunger are easy to direction of public policy and economic trends over the last name, but they do require two decades, directions likely to encourage sharp losses in the political will to address them. income. The consequences of such declines can be 1. Real incomes must rise, buffered by more responsive income assistance and whether from minimum wage employment market policies. or social assistance. Food insecurity results from anything employment—continue throughout the poorest 20 percent seeing their that limits household resources or the Canada, especially in the Maritimes. average incomes fall by $500 as a result pro...
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