Give 30 2018 with Dr. Zaki Ahmed
REGIONAL FOOD DISTRIBUTION ASSOCIATION OF NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO
“Summer is coming.”
For 90% of us, the statement brings images of the lake, the yard, the garden, the fresh berries, the fresh corn and the Bar-B-ques with great tasting meats and vegetables along with our favourite beverages.
For the other 10%, this statement brings concerns. Concerns that their children will be off school. Their worries are not how they are going to keep their children busy but rather, how are they going to get them the two meals that they were getting at school with the nutrition programs.
This concern is real. 12% of Canada’s population uses foodbanks to provide meals for their families. Over half of the users are children.
Those are Canada’s numbers. In Northwestern Ontario, the numbers are even worse. The needs are more severe and the help is scarce. Malnutrition due to food insecurity is alarming. As a physician working in Northwestern Ontario, I have seen diseases like Scurvy and Kwashiorkor (Protein Calorie Malnutrition) right here.
Food prices are high in the urban areas compared to Southern Ontario in general but even higher for fresh fruits and vegetables due to transportation costs. This discrepancy is even greater in some of the remote areas. If you are lucky enough to see fresh apples in the stores there, you surely are lucky but if you can afford $6 for a pound, you really need to be fortunate.
The Regional Food Distribution Association (RFDA), not only provides nutritious food to the North, they are also trying to keep it sustainable by planting gardens and teaching people how to grow their own fruits and vegetables. They are teaching techniques to preserve those foods for the long winter. They are promoting active lifestyles and engaging in partnerships to make this tenable.
Over the last few years, I have been fortunate enough to raise over $65,000 for the RFDA with the help of the community of Thunder Bay and people from all over the world who understand the importance of nutrition to ensure good health. I have partnered with the Give30 campaign so together we can raise more awareness of this vital issue.
Thank you for joining me in this fight against Malnutrition and Food Insecurity.
What Is Give 30?
"Give 30 is a grassroots initiative inspired by Ramadan's spirit of empathy, generosity and social solidarity. Everyone, regardless of faith or background, is invited to participate in the spirit of Ramadan and unite in common humanity to build healthy and compassionate communities for all. For more information, please visit www.give30.ca"