Ottawa Book Expo Helps the Hungry
Did you know that there are a lot of people in Ottawa who cannot afford food? According to the Ottawa Public Health website, an estimated 6.5% of Ottawa households experience some level of food insecurity.
What is food insecurity? Food insecurity, as defined by Ottawa Public Health, is when an individual or household cannot: afford balanced meals, goes hungry by eating less or skipping meals (sometimes not eating for an entire day), or does not have access to the variety or quantity of food that they need due to lack of money. The website further states that, food insecurity is a serious public health issue. It impacts children’s physical and mental health and puts adults at a higher risk of suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University, writing for Ottawa Citizen, says that “It is estimated that four million Canadians experience food insecurity regularly.”
For this reason, the Ottawa Book Expo has taken the initiative to organize a food drive that would go along with its upcoming Ottawa Book festival. The Expo invites interested individuals to donate non-perishable food items from 10 AM to 5 PM on Sunday, October 20, 2019, in the Horticulture Building of Lansdowne Park in the Glebe. For those who cannot make it to the venue, a donation can be made online.
Charlebois writes that it has been estimated that more than 850,000 Canadians visit a food bank every month and a third of them are children.
“When looking at hunger, solutions are far from being forthcoming,” he writes. “It’s estimated that the world population will rise to 9.2 billion by 2050. Food production must double by 2050 to feed the world’s growing population. That is our global reality. But with more efficient technologies and better known-how, our agriculture is up to the challenge. Some will be left behind, no matter how much food we produce. Hunger will always be among us but allowing us to connect with food systems by acquiring more knowledge about them at a young age will make us all richer.”
So why don’t you become a solution to Ottawa’s pervading food problem by donating to the food drive?
The Ottawa book festival is not just about feeding the less privileged, as the name of the event implies, the book festival is supposed to also link upcoming and veteran authors and others in the book industry to showcase their amazing work. It is going to be a day of literary culture held in Lansdowne Park. The event will start at 10 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 20th, 2019.
Unlike most other book festivals in the Ottawa area which seem to cater only to well-established and famous authors like Margaret Atwood and Lee Maracle, the Ottawa book Expo would accommodate all writers and publishers, who are in the Ottawa area. The Expo would provide guidance and exposure for new writers, and inspiration for veteran authors.