During COVID-19, rather that holding cooking classes and community kitchens, we are offering a different type of food security programming. This includes our Free Mini Pantries and Community Gardens, as well as Meal Kit Deliveries for families and individuals.
Food Insecurity in Regina’s Heritage Neighbourhood
Food insecurity is a longstanding, major issue within Heritage, exacerbating the impacts of poverty, colonialism, and culture shock that many in our neighbourhood are already experiencing. This past year, food insecurity has been made even worse and more visible by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of the 2016 census, approximately 20% of our neighbourhood’s population is First Nations or Métis, often struggling with the tragic impacts of residential schools, the 60s Scoop, and other ongoing colonial violence and everyday racism. Over 10% (and growing rapidly) of our neighbourhood’s population are Newcomers to Canada; these residents often face barriers to employment, discrimination, and the emotional and financial shock of adjusting to a new culture and place.
About 30% of families in Heritage are lone-parent families. And 44% of dwellings in our neighbourhood are characterized as “unaffordable,” meaning residents spend more than 30% of their household income on housing. Many people who are experiencing homelessness – who are likely not included in census data — stay at shelters located within our neighbourhood and/or spend much of their days here to access services such as meal programs or clothing banks.
We are thankful to the City of Regina’s Community Investment Grants Program for their annual funding of this initiative. This year, we also received support from the Conexus Kindness Capital Fund and the Regina Public Interest Research Group.