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Community Comment: Food can be under appreciated

From farmer to processor, from retailer to restauranteur, the delivery of our sustenance needs to be better comprehended
Christmas dinner
Stock photo

The next few weeks will see most of us becoming exposed to expanded food eating opportunities. At this time of year it is important to consider where our food comes from and appreciate those who work in the $16 Billion dollar food economy in British Columbia.

We often take what we eat for granted but that should not be the case. The dynamics of the agri-food industry are enormously complex and we should take a moment to reflect on how logistics within the food chain play out so that we can have a better understanding of broader concepts such as food security and sovereignty.

Not all of us will be enjoying platters of holiday goodies over the next month though. Sadly, we are not immune to food challenges in Delta.

There are families who struggle daily to find enough to eat. Food bank usage has been described by Canada Food Banks as a “storm turning in to a hurricane”.

 In B.C., 15.7 percent of children aged 3-11 are keeping their tummies full from food bank supplies. I know that some kids in Delta are hungry because I have seen it with my own eyes on countless occasions. When I have brought samples of food that we were to plant on school farms in Delta, I would be asked in person by the youngsters if I had more so that they could take some home. On occasions where youngsters would put snap peas, carrots, radish or whatever in their pockets, I would discretely ask them why, and the answer was always that they were going to take it home to eat instead. After a few years I finally clued in that I would need to take much more than one item per child when I visited as it was abundantly clear that many of the young farmers were simply not getting enough to eat.

From farmer to processor, from retailer to restauranteur, the delivery of our sustenance needs to be better comprehended. Although food is all around us, and a part of our daily routine, it is generally under appreciated.

So when you are eating your turkey and ham, your cranberries, Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes, remember that someone, likely one of your community neighbours, took on all the risk to put these holiday delicacies on your dining room table. And please, if you are able, consider a donation to the food bank this year.