Eat Think Vote: National campaign wants voters to think about food security
St. John's-area candidates will gather to discuss food issues
A national campaign asking voters to start thinking about food issues is making a stop at the St. John's Farmers' Market on Saturday.
Eat Think Vote is hosting an informal meet and greet with candidates from around the St. John's region to talk about something that affects every voter: food.
"One of the biggest issues behind food security — why people can't afford to put food on the table — is poverty. That intersects with employment.… That affects health, education, all these things," said Rachel Cheng, the national co-ordinator of Eat Think Vote.
Food issues affect everyone in one way or another, whether your biggest concerns deal with health, the environment or business, Cheng said.
Local Food First NL co-ordinator Sarah Crocker is urging voters to take advantage of the opportunity to speak about food issues with candidates in the federal election.
"We have Joedy Wall from the Conservatives, and I believe [Liberal] Nick Whalen is going to be dropping by, as well as [NDP] Jack Harris, who are all from St. John's East," Crocker said. "And we have a few, not-quite-confirmed [candidates] from St. John's South-Mount Pearl."
Food access is a concern for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for a variety of reasons, Crocker said.
"Whether that means having enough money in your pocket to pay for food, or even supply-chain issues that come up quite a lot here in Newfoundland and Labrador, there are a lot of different ways of measuring how secure you are with food," she said.
"Maybe folks are buying food that they don't think is necessarily that healthy, but it's kind of an economic choice, or maybe people are skipping meals and going to bed hungry."
Cheng's goal is to get Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to vote with food in mind, and said the event is a good chance to meet local candidates and talk about the issues that matter to individual voters.
"If you have a lot of friends who are into agriculture and farming, you can ask about how [your candidate] will support new farmers, for example," she said.
"If you have food security in mind, and you know folks who struggle with hunger, you can ask them about their poverty-reduction measures and how they will help families to make ends meet."
The Eat Think Vote event is set for Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the St. John's Farmers' Market.
With files from The St. John's Morning Show