Community·Podcast

The Hard to Stomach podcast series explores stories of food insecurity across Ontario

Hard to Stomach is a new CBC podcast that explores issues surrounding food insecurity and accessibility across Ontario, hosted by Nana aba Duncan.

CBC podcast explores food insecurity across Ontario

How do you decide between buying bread and keeping the lights on? 

Why, in a food-rich province, are three million people waiting in food bank lines? What happens when fresh produce is out of reach?

CBC's Hard to Stomach podcast focuses on real people facing - and fighting against - food insecurity in communities across Ontario from north to south. They could be your co-worker, your neighbour or your friend. 

In this four-part series, CBC's Nana Aba Duncan explores what food insecurity feels and sounds like through the stories of people who have experienced it firsthand.

Episode 1: Who's Hungry?

There were more than three million visits to food banks across Ontario at last count. Who are the people behind the numbers? 

We explore what it's like to grow up hungry in a food-rich province, and its lasting effects on parents and children. We also dive into how the cost of living can impact every aspect of a person's life, from Toronto to London, Ontario.

      1 of 0

      Mentioned during the episode:

      Episode 2: Fresh Out

      Frozen pizzas and boxed mac and cheese might seem like a treat...until they're your only option. What happens when your access to fresh food is limited by how much money you have, or how far north you live? We talk about why food accessibility issues persist across Ontario, and hear from dedicated people in Leamington and Mississauga putting fresh produce into the hands of people who need it most.

          1 of 0

          Mentioned during the episode:

          Episode 3: Hard to shake

          Jane Sangster is a client of The Compass, a food bank in Mississauga. (Talia Ricci/CBC)

          Food bank use is growing, particularly among working people. So with more people in need of help than ever, why is it still so hard to talk about? Nana aba examines why the stigma around food insecurity still exists, and how misconceptions about hunger impact the lives of half a million people across Ontario.

          Mentioned during the episode:

          Episode 4: That One Thing

          Host of CBC's Hard To Stomach, Nana aba Duncan (CBC)

          Food insecurity doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's often connected to factors like where you live, your source of income and even your race. While there's no instant fix for these interconnected issues, solutions have to start somewhere. 

          So we asked the people we've heard from throughout the series: what's the one thing that can help you now, or that could have helped you then? 

          Mentioned during the episode:


          Reporting by:

          Liny Lamberink 

          Markus Schwabe 

          Haydn Watters 

          Matt Fratpietro 

          Matt Galloway

          Gill Deacon

          Mary Wiens 

          Produced by Katie Jensen, Hayley Zimak, Melissa Haughton and Jennifer Williams.

          Sound design and mixing by Katie Jensen.

          Artwork by Pascal Chiarello.