Friday, October 24, 2008

Study on Kraft Dinner in relation to social inequality leads to discussion in Alberta's Legislature

Yesterday, our study on Kraft Dinner and food insecurity in Canada became the basis for a series of questions put to Alberta's Minister of Health, Ron Liepert, by Laurie Blakeman:

The official transcript reads as follows:

"Food Banks

Ms Blakeman: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Kraft Dinner
is not a comfort food for those obliged to eat it. So says the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, whose August report
shows that Albertans forced to rely on the nonperishable items
available at food banks suffer from food insecurity, the inability to
obtain sufficient nutritious food through normal channels. My
questions are to the minister of health. Does the minister recognize
that the reliance of poor Albertans on the processed food available
through food banks creates conditions that burden the health care
system?

Mr. Liepert: Well, Mr. Speaker, there’s no question that healthy
eating is part of healthy living, but the government is not responsible
for what each one of 3.2 million Albertans eats.

The Speaker: The hon. member.

Ms Blakeman: Thank you. Again to the same minister: given that
30 per cent of Albertans using food banks have jobs and still have to
rely on one of over a hundred food banks in Alberta and given the
increasing economic turmoil, how does this government plan to
address the growing gap between the haves, those who have access
to food, and the have-nots, those who don’t, in this province?

Mr. Liepert: Well, Mr. Speaker, we have a number of programs that
I’m sure the hon. Minister of Seniors and Community Supports
would be happy to talk about, but at the end of the day this is a
province that has opportunity for everyone, and we’re proud of that.

Ms Blakeman: Well, to the same minister: will the government
follow the advice of its own report and create a fund to support the
efforts ofthe Alberta Food Bank Network and the CalgaryInter-faith
Food Bank to ensure that Albertans in need have access to fresh,
perishable food and not just mac and cheese?

Mr. Liepert: Well, Mr. Speaker, there are a number of accusations
in all of those preambles to the questions, and I would have a look
at what the hon. member is talking about relative to the document
and see how it can be worked into such things as our nutritional
guidelines for schools."

1 comment:

Social Science Girl said...

It is amazing how uninspired and uncritical the "discussion" in the Legislature is! Great blog :) ~Krista