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Income-related policy recommendations to address food insecurity

This document was created and published by the Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health (OSNPPH) , an independent, non-profit body that represents over 200 registered dietitians working in public health in Ontario. OSNPPH’s food security working group reviewed and compiled research to support implementation of income-based policy approaches to reduce poverty as the most effective way to address food insecurity.

Three areas to address food insecurity are highlighted, including potential impacts and recommended actions:

  • Prioritize investigation into a basic income guarantee;
  • Increasing social assistance rates to reflect actual costs of nutritious food, housing and inflation rates;
  • Revisions to employment standards legislation and health benefits for low income Ontarians.

Recommendations for action by public health practitioners include advocacy for policy change and addressing poverty as the root cause of food insecurity. These policy recommendations are complementary to a position statement on responses to food insecurity, which describes food insecurity as an urgent human rights and social justice issue, and can be used to support action by public health practitioners on income-based policy solutions. As well, a food insecurity infographic for use in advocacy and educational work is available that represents the information in both the position statement and the policy recommendations.

Use this resource to:

  • Facilitate discussion about how to shift public health practice away from charity and food focused solutions to food insecurity and towards supporting income-based policy action;
  • Advocate for basic income guarantee and changes to legislation that will support addressing poverty as the underlying determinant of food insecurity;
  • Illustrate how food insecurity as a social determinant of health contributes to broader health inequities;
  • Support communications with stakeholders both internal and external to public health to encourage action on poverty.

Reference:

Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health Food Security Workgroup (2015). Income-related policy recommendations to address food insecurity. www.osnpph.on.ca/membership/documents.

Tags: Communicate, Food security, Healthy public policy, Income inequality, Intersectoral action, Methods & tools, Modify & orient, Policy analysis, Public health unit / health authority, Socioeconomic status

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