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Local teen speaks out on food security

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Powdered milk stories, the “luxury” of Kraft Dinner and the welcoming fellowship at community meal programs were some of the diverse experiences shared during the recent ‘Do the Math, Eat the Math’ initiative, a seven day regional food security campaign, facilitated by Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit along with partners from the Food Matters Coalition. During the campaign, 20 participants in Leeds and Grenville subsisted entirely on the contents of a hamper supplied by their local food bank, when their supplies ran out, participants relied on charitable meals such as church dinners or soup kitchen fare. Participants were also asked to blog daily in order to record their journey, and to make a donation to help cover the cost of the food bank hamper so that supplies could be replenished for community members who regularly access the food bank. In Brockville local leaders, Janet Eaton, Ray Wheeler, Claire Farella, Linda Earl, Michael Jiggins, Joanne Systma, Alison Tutak, Jack Butt and Kim Giroux, participated in the project.
One of Brockville’s most notable participants was its youngest, 18 year-old BCI student, Sarah Wheeler. Wheeler’s intriguing report on her glimpse into the complex realities that surround poverty, prompted the Health Unit to ask Wheeler to share her experience with the campaign and its affect on her in a promotional video that will air on Tv Cogeco’s ‘the Source’, on February 14th.
“Unless people have truly experienced it for themselves they often do not fully understand how difficult it is to attain and sustain good health while living in poverty,” explained Wheeler, adding that the experience’ changed her perception’ and has subsequently, ‘made an advocate out of her’.

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