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Many of the most fortunate people in the world find satisfaction in 'sharing' their wealth with those who are less fortunate. Furthermore, it is often assumed that those with less should be satisfied with any 'gift', because after all, beggars can't be choosers. Nevertheless, how can we encourage the populations of the world who...
Many of the most fortunate people in the world find satisfaction in 'sharing' their wealth with those who are less fortunate. Furthermore, it is often assumed that those with less should be satisfied with any 'gift', because after all, beggars can't be choosers. Nevertheless, how can we encourage the populations of the world who live in poverty and disparity to make wise health related decisions, when all they are able to access are essentially our scraps?
This question was raised in a study released by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, which focused on macaroni and cheese donations to food banks. Of course, no one who makes donations to food banks is ill-intentioned, just perhaps ill-informed. Many of the popular non-perishable items donated to food banks often lack proper nutrition, and certainly fall short of a balanced meal. Undeniably, the selection for appropriate food donations is slim, but perhaps the system itself is flawed. This newspaper article suggests donating your money instead of non-perishables in the hopes that those visiting food banks will be provided a healthier selection.
The article explains that 'food insecure' users of local food banks find little comfort in eating Kraft Dinner, because they can rarely afford the other ingredients added such as butter and milk. Moreover, some single mothers explained that their children dreaded eating Kraft Dinner because they had to eat it so often. Again, health experts always encourage us to make informed decisions when it comes to meal choices, but for many it seems the choices simply aren't available.
I believe that this is an example of social inequality. For the affluent individuals, living on a diet of Kraft dinner and canned food is deemed unhealthy. However, for the less fortunate and food insecure individuals, anything that will fill their bellies will seem to do.
An initiative that may help alleviate this situation is the improvisation of community gardens. Community gardens are not only a good way to provide affordable, assorted and fresh produce, but also to increase community togetherness and build a connection to one's environment. They may be governed by local government, but sustained by community members. For those of us who take pleasure in sharing our wealth with those less fortunate members of our communities, a donation to a community garden would be highly recommended. A donation may assist in the financing of these gardens, or better yet one could actively participate in the sustentation of these gardens by contributing labour. This would allow for the possibility of larger more productive gardens while enabling the participants to become active and connected members of their communities. It is important to remember that social justice demands equality for all, so what isn't good for the 'food secure' goose isn't good for the 'food insecure' gander!