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Subject: It’s Time to Address the Root Causes of Household Insecurity in Alberta
Dear MLA [Recipient Name]:
Household food insecurity, defined as inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints, is a significant issue in Alberta. Across Alberta, more than 1 in 10 households experience some level of household food insecurity.
Household food insecurity is associated with multiple health problems and chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and poor mental health. Household food insecurity contributes to poor health, while poor health increases risk of household food insecurity.
At its root, household food insecurity is an income-related issue. Despite this, many government officials in Alberta still frame solutions to household food insecurity through a lens of individual skill building and charitable supports, such as food banks, school meal programs and community gardens.
To address the root cause of household food insecurity in Alberta, income-based policy responses are required to ensure that all Albertans have enough money to meet their basic needs.
Examples of policy solutions include improving the benefit and social assistance system to reflect the real cost of living, developing a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy for Alberta and exploring a guaranteed annual income.