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Youth action on food insecurity: A toolkit for secondary school students to use in clubs and other extracurricular activities (DRAFT)

Household food insecurity is a determinant of health equity and is caused by inadequate income, or not having enough money to buy food to feed individuals and/or their families. Despite the income-based roots of food insecurity, the discussion among youth about solutions to this issue is often limited to food charity, such as non-perishable food donation drives, which do not help people to be more food secure.

Food security awareness in schools

Designed for students in grades 9–12 involved in food security awareness initiatives, this toolkit from Ontario Dietitians in Public Health (ODPH) offers user-friendly resources and ideas that schools can use to develop awareness-raising campaigns about food insecurity.

The resource includes:

  • steps for campaign development;
  • sources of reliable information on food insecurity;
  • sample activities;
  • sample resources to adapt; and
  • social media and communications messages.

External recommended resources include a digital poverty simulation and sample videos to stimulate discussion. In addition, the authors offer a variety of activity ideas to suit multiple environments.

Useful for students and practitioners

This toolkit can be used directly by students and by public health practitioners working with schools to encourage social justice activities that focus on income-based strategies to address food insecurity and discourage a focus on food charity as a solution.

Use this resource to:

  • facilitate discussion about income-based solutions to food insecurity with students, teachers and school administrators;
  • develop messaging about the limits of food charity as a solution to food insecurity, and shifting the focus towards income-based policy action; and
  • support public health school–based interventions addressing food insecurity and student advocacy efforts.

Related resources


Ontario Dietitians in Public Health. (2019). Youth Action on Food Insecurity: A Toolkit for Secondary School Students to Use in Clubs and Other Extracurricular Activities (DRAFT). Toronto, ON: Ontario Dietitians in Public Health.

Tags: Food security, Health literacy, Public Health Organization, Tool