Members of the Colchester Anti-poverty Network Rhoda Hogan, left, Sue King-Darby, Beckie Burrows, Angie MacIntyre, Mary Jo Harrison and Trinkie Coffin use colourful posters to deliver messages about poverty in the local community. SUBMITTED PHOTO
UNITED WAY, COLCHESTER WEEKLY NEWS
TRURO-Whether you want to believe it or not, poverty lives in Colchester County. It could be affecting your neighbour, your child's classmate or the person standing in front of you at the grocery store.
Did you know that 9.9 per cent of households in the area have reported not being able to have enough food (both quantity and quality) due to limited financial resources in 2007/2008 (Canadian Community Health Survey, 2007/2008)? In a population of 50,020, this is approximately 4,952 people and that's 4,952 community members too many living in these circumstances.
Many factors can come into play for those with limited income, whether it is a lack of education, mental or physical health limitations or reduced access to affordable childcare.
A low income can influence housing affordability, food security, a sense of belonging to the community and accessibility of social supports and education opportunities.
A downward spiral begins and the stress of housing costs, food and bills could result in negative coping strategies. For households with children, this could carry over and affect the next generation.
We must break the cycle of poverty in Colchester County. A reduced income should not result in limited opportunities. By stopping the cycle now, we can improve local families' quality of life and build up our community.
How do we do this? Realize there is poverty and help bring more awareness to this issue. Next Wednesday is 'The International Day to Eradicate Poverty' and the Colchester Anti-Poverty Network is hosting a 'Poverty Hunt.'
Modeled after the TV Show 'The Amazing Race,' teams will hunt for clues at various locations around Truro's downtown core ending at the Truro Farmer's Market. The event will take place on Oct. 17, from 4 to 6 p.m.
For more information about the Poverty Hunt or to register, contact Angie MacIntyre at firstname.lastname@example.org or 893-5886.
Want to do more? Give back to your community and support local charities that are working to help those with limited opportunities. The United Way of Colchester County and its community funded partners work to improve the quality of life for many living in poverty. Give and help strengthen our community.
Change can start here in Colchester but not without the community coming together to make a difference for those living in poverty.
Jennifer Spicer is the executive director of the United Way of Colchester County. She can be reached at email@example.com.