Before I started at the Homeless Hub, I had occasionally heard about UN designated ‘international days’. I never took the opportunity to use them as a foundation for reflection on the policies that are occurring within Canada. This week’s infographic demonstrates the overlap between two of these days that are taking place this week

October 17 is the day that the United Nations designated the International day for the Eradication of Poverty. It is meant “to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries”.

October 16 is designated World Food Day by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.

Despite the fact that the United Nations has awarded two separate days to these issues, experiences of both are often highly related. In Canada, those who are experiencing poverty, typically have less access to nutritious food. This is one of the factors that influences long-term health.

I find it very difficult to separate discussions of poverty and food security with housing. These three items are connected in several ways. When people are earning less, and have access to less income security they have to make decisions about how to use their money (TVO has an interactive graphic that does a good job at expressing this). It becomes a much more complex issue when decisions have to be made between adequate shelter, and adequate nutrition.

This is a decision that nobody in Canada should have to make. As the infographic below shows, this is an experience that is all too familiar to many.

Hunger in Ontario