YWCA Peterborough Haliburton is getting almost $400,000 over two years to address the issue of food insecurity in the region.
MPP Jeff Leal announced the funding Friday morning at the YWCA’s Simcoe St. office.
According to Peterborough Public Health, Peterborough has the highest rate of food insecurity in Canada. One in six residents, or 16 per cent of the region’s population struggles to put healthy food on the table.
Christine Post, a nurse with the health unit, said those struggling to access healthy food can also face serious health issues.
“Among low-income households, they’re likely to experience a rate of chronic disease and they’re more likely to die sooner than families who are more financially well off,” she said.
The YWCA runs several programs targeting the issue. It has a food box program, which provides families with nutritious fare at subsidized prices, and it helps run community garden programs throughout the city.
The YWCA’s Joelle Favreau said the high cost of things like housing and utility bills can aggravate the problem.
“And so what they end up doing is taking from their food budget to be able to cover other bills,” she said.
The funding will help cover some costs associated with the YWCA’s food programs; it will also allow the organization to review those programs to find out what works best.