June 23rd, 2024

First instalment of educational video series focuses on food security

By Samantha Johnson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on February 23, 2023.

reporter@medicinehatnews.com

The first video in a new educational mini-series, Tune-in, was launched earlier this month by Medicine Hat College. The videos are free to watch and focus on the health of community, environment and economy through a sustainability lens.

Food security is the topic of the first video and is available at https://www.mhc.ab.ca/OurFuture.

Alison Van Dyke, food security co-ordinator for Community Food Connections Association of Southeastern Alberta, narrates the video.

She grew up on a farm where the family grew and preserved most of their own food. In the video, Van Dyke discusses how being a low-income family on a farm does not produce the same level of food security issues as low-income families in a city who might not have the space of means to grow any of their own food. Knowledge loss, such as how to preserve food, also contributes to the problem.

“Food insecurity is the inadequate or insecure access to the financial means to purchase or access food affordability,” says Van Dyke in the video. This definition includes the transportation to go buy the food and get it back to your household.

There are multiple reasons a household can be experiencing food insecurity and there is no easy fix. In the video, Van Dyke explains a household would need about two acres of land that is gardened intensely with skill and knowledge to produce enough food to feed a family.

While gardening and preserving your own food will help, it will unlikely lessen the problem of food insecurity.

Community food insecurity was seen at the start of the pandemic when certain foods were unavailable due to supply chain issues. One thing Medicine Hat and area has been doing well are the greenhouse kiosks where residents have access to fresh, healthy food at affordable prices, Van Dyke says.

The video is more than 12 minutes long and also touches on a possible mobile grocery, a sustainable food system, impacts of food insecurity and best case scenarios for a community.

Coming videos will address topics such as affordable housing and water scarcity with one being launched each month. Each video will feature a local leader to discuss issues impacting our community. Within each video are examples of ways people can take small steps to create change.

“To better our collective future, we believe it’s important to equip our learners with the knowledge and tools to both become aware of sustainability issues and take a solutions-driven approach to guide decision making as they enter their careers,” stated Nancy Brown, vice president academic at MHC, in the press release.

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