Daily Gleaner Editorial: We are what we eat - poor

In our view: Rising food costs are daunting for many

Published Monday April 18th, 2011

http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/1398867


Where will the next dollar come from?

Will there be enough money for bread and butter?

What about the rent and other payments?

Will there be enough money for gas? For heat?

Who really cares for those who are at, or well below the poverty line?

The questions are genuine for a number of people in The Daily Gleaner reading audience. They're not only genuine, they are a stark reality of what it's like for some people in our community.

To worry about having enough money to get the next loaf of bread, tray of hamburger or jug of milk places those people in a category where many were during the Great Depression.

The situation is no laughing matter. It's a tragedy for which there is no quick, long-term solution.

Local officials and anti-poverty advocates are pointing to rising gasoline and food prices.

Prices for these basic commodities have surged recently, and that upward swing is placing many in a situation approaching dire straits.

Elizabeth Crawford-Thurber, executive director of the Fredericton Food Bank, is concerned about the increased costs.

"Not only is food going up, everything is going up," she said,

Although the food bank depends on donations, the facility sometimes has to buy food, so monetary donations don't go as far as they once did. Another issue relates to the donations themselves which means those on limited budgets who make donations will not have as much to give.

The age-old factor of supply and demand has raised its ugly head. With gas prices going up, it follows that everything else is caught, because delivery and shipping charges are met through higher costs.

It is a vicious circle as Tammy Greer knows. She lives in Lincoln and travels around the area in her work as a home-care worker for elderly and disabled clients.

Her job is a "low-paid field," she said, and she gets no mileage allowance for her travel.

She also sees how her clients are affected "from a dietary perspective" because quality, healthy food items are more expensive.

The RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index for March indicates that higher gas and food prices are hitting Atlantic consumers in a big way. Loblaw, which owns and operates Atlantic Superstores, announced recently that it would raise its grocery prices by five per cent across the board.

Dan Weston, spokesperson for the Fredericton Anti-Poverty Organization, said all levels of government need to do a better job of addressing the problems that affect low wage earners and those on fixed incomes.

Those who witness this dilemma have spoken.

We are at a loss to suggest a realistic plan to alleviate the plight of the most needy. Governments are strapped with exorbitant debt.

The instability and incidents all over the globe are in crisis category. It's daunting.

Nonetheless, a sympathetic ear must be attentive to the needs of the poor. Their needs are similar to ours, but their resources are extremely limited.Where will the next dollar come from?

Will there be enough money for bread and milk?

What about the rent and other payments?

Will there be enough money for gas? For heat?

Who really cares for those who are at, or well below the poverty line?

The questions are genuine for a number of people in The Daily Gleaner reading audience. They're not only genuine, they are a stark reality of what it's like for some people in our community.

To worry about having enough money to get the next loaf of bread, tray of hamburger or jug of milk places those people in a category where many were during the Great Depression.

The situation is no minor matter. It's a tragedy for which there is no quick, long-term solution.

Local officials and anti-poverty advocates are pointing to rising gasoline and food prices.

Prices for these basic commodities have surged recently, and that upward swing is placing many in a situation approaching dire straits.

Elizabeth Crawford-Thurber, executive director of the Fredericton Food Bank, is concerned about the increased costs.

"Not only is food going up, everything is going up," she said.

Although the food bank depends on donations, the facility sometimes has to buy food, so monetary donations don't go as far as they once did. Another issue relates to the donations themselves, which means those on limited budgets who make donations will not have as much to give.

The age-old factor of supply and demand has raised its ugly head. With gas prices going up, it follows that everything else is caught, because delivery and shipping charges are met through higher costs.

It is a vicious circle as Tammy Greer knows. She lives in Lincoln and travels around the area in her work as a home-care worker for elderly and disabled clients.

Her job is a low-paid field, she said, and she gets no mileage allowance for her travel.

She also sees how her clients are affected from a dietary perspective because quality, healthy food items are more expensive.

The RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index for March indicates that higher gas and food prices are hitting Atlantic consumers in a big way. Loblaw, which owns and operates Atlantic Superstores, announced recently that it would raise its grocery prices by five per cent across the board.

Dan Weston, spokesperson for the Fredericton Anti-Poverty Organization, said all levels of government need to do a better job of addressing the problems that affect low wage earners and those on fixed incomes.

Those who witness this dilemma have spoken.

We are at a loss to suggest a realistic plan to alleviate the plight of the most needy.

Governments are strapped with exorbitant debt. The instability and incidents all over the globe are in crisis category. It's daunting.

Nonetheless, a sympathetic ear must be attentive to the needs of the poor. Their needs are similar to ours, but their resources are extremely limited.