We interview food security expert Dr. Valerie Tarasuk, who will be visiting Nova Scotia later this week. She talks about hunger counts that don’t count hunger, food banks that don’t solve food insecurity, and income thresholds that don’t reflect it. Also, why people who are food insecure get sick so much, even if the illness has nothing to do with diet. And finally, what we should do to fix the problem.

This weekend video actually started as a story published in the Nova Scotia Advocate, written by a mother who wanted to tell how being on welfare affected her and her children, the stigma she faced, and how it can happen to anyone.

Homelessness, housing in bad repair and malnutrition can make you sick, both physically and mentally. Yet when we talk about healthcare we rarely talk about addressing root causes and mostly focus on things like wait lists and doctor shortages. Although tremendously important issues, we should not forget about these social determinants of health, says regular contributor Alex Kronstein.

In this powerful video Nova Scotians who know about welfare first hand are asked to describe Income Assistance in three words. It takes them all of 49 seconds to tell us that social assistance in Nova Scotia is broken.

Human rights lawyer Vince Calderhead tackles last month’ budget and the election. The realization that the inequality in our society is actually a political decision raises hard questions, he writes. These are questions not just for our political leaders but also for ourselves as members of a society that repeatedly select politicians who by their choices, maintain poverty and malnutrition. When are we, as a society, going to tell our political candidates and leaders that we will not tolerate poverty in our society?

At the Nova Scotia Advocate we hate food banks with a vengeance. It is also one of our favourite charities. Let Glenn tell you why. Check it out, it only takes a couple of minutes.