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Are you sovereign over your food?

What is food sovereignty, and does it matter to hungry kids?

Here’s a tough question that used to be asked like this, “Can beggars be choosers?”… More frequently now, we speak in much more friendly terms, and the question might now be posed like this, “Can people in need of food have a say in what food their given?”

I think they should. 

The concept of “Food Sovereignty” is the right of people to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. 

In more practical terms for our work, the concept of Food Sovereignty for hungry kids living in poverty and other difficult situations means that people who provide food for these kids take in to consideration cultural, religious, and other concerns kids have about the food they want to eat.

I’m not talking about picky eaters – I’m a mom of 2 kids who’ve been good eaters, bad eaters, picky eaters, over eaters… I’m talking about kids who care about the food they put in their bodies, and the impact that food will have on them physically and emotionally.

Back in the day when I was a hungry kid, people thought it was a good idea to give day-old donuts to hungry kids.  They were easy to come by – because they were going in the garbage anyway! 

But, as a hungry child receiving something that was destined for the garbage because no one else wanted to eat it, the message you’re being told as someone hands you that donut is that you are just as valuable as that day-old donut.

20 years have passed – and we don’t give day-old donuts to hungry kids anymore (unless they’re our own kids, but that’s another story). SKYC has partnered with dieticians, nutritionists, naturopathic doctors, chiropractors, nurses, chefs (and lots of home cooks) to figure out ways to give the kids we serve a sense of food sovereignty, all the while, making sure they have nutritious food each day.

It’s important. We want to show kids we care.  We want to build their esteem.  We want them to fulfil their potential.  We want them to feel safe in our communities.  We do that all by making sure they have access to nutritious food in safe environments when they’re going through rough times.

Food sovereignty.  What would your day be like if you didn’t have it?

Without our work, many kids in Canada would only dream of such a concept.  You can make it a reality. Please don’t hesitate to donate and share some of your joy of food sovereignty with the kids we serve.

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