In combination with the release of the 2014 Nutritious Food Basket (NFB), the Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force (PTF) is releasing “15 for 15”.15 wishes for 2015   is comprised of 15 wishes for addressing poverty in the region.

Not all individuals in our community have the same chance to achieve health as others. A recent report by Statistics Canada highlights that income inequality is linked with the premature death of 40,000 Canadians a year. This is equal to 110 Canadians dying every day.

The most under resourced in our society are at increased risk for many conditions including chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and mental illness.

Grey and Bruce statistics show residents already experience many chronic diseases at a rate higher than Ontario as a whole.

  • rate of hospitalizations due to heart attacks is 28% higher than the provincial average.

  • averages of 47 people being hospitalized and 11 people dying of cardiovascular disease each week.The Poverty Task Force has a Community Voices committee and 4 Action Groups.

  • Income security

  • Housing

  • Food security

  • Transportation

Residents who do not have strength in each of these areas often find it impossible to meet their health potential. Often the food budget is considered the most flexible, which means individuals will purchase lower quality and  less food to just pay rent or utilities. When money is tight, people are forced to cut into their food budget to pay for other living expenses, putting them at increased risk of chronic disease and poor growth and development.

Each year the Grey Bruce Health Unit conducts the Nutritious Food Basket (NFB) survey. The survey measures the cost of basic healthy eating in our communities and across the province.  The 2014 local analysis tells us it costs $782.82 every month to feed a family of four. Grey and Bruce Counties have observed a steady rise in the cost of food in recent years; provincially the cost has risen 4.5% from last year. This cost assumes that only the lowest cost foods are being chosen and that individuals are highly food skilled, and does not account for special celebrations, limited tools, or other necessities.

Grey Bruce is fortunate to have some community programs to support the immediate needs of those in crisis. Individuals and families can visit 211.ca to learn more. 

Poverty Task Force Holiday Wish List

  1. We wish for a Fair Wage, Living Wage policies passed by all municipal councils in Grey Bruce.
  2. We wish to come together! Let’s see social services and people of all economic classes working together.
  3. We wish for a little understanding please! Let’s make sure the voices and stories of the under resourced are heard.
  4. We wish to make Grey Bruce a triple A community where everyone has appropriate, adequate, affordable housing.    
  5. We wish to prevent homelessness before it happens, with meaningful services.
  6. We wish to savour each bite! Create opportunities for all to make connections through experiencing and sharing food, food is social.
  7. We wish for more than a full stomach, we need policies that recognize food’s role in physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being.
  8. We wish to take part in meeting local food needs by supporting and expanding community gardens, meals, and a community food centre
  9. We wish to travel the distance, ensure there are affordable transportation services across Grey Bruce for people to get where they need to go - grocery stores, doctor’s appointments, fun and family.
  10. We wish to both find a job and have the ride! Provide daily transportation for working-aged adults and youth across Grey Bruce so they can get to work.
  11. We wish for big picture funding! Fund a regional transportation system for the long-term to ensure a      positive economic impact.
  12. We wish for no zeros in our work contracts! Ensure fair work contracts by employers so people have jobs with hours assigned to them.   
  13. We wish Canada would take a lead in addressing poverty in its communities! Developing a national plan to end child and family poverty.
  14. We wish for no stereotyping, when we hear disparaging words against people living on low income.
  15. We wish to share good news, celebrate our community spirit and coming together to end poverty.