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Chew on This! to help digest awareness of poverty related issues

Ellen Brownbill, Diane Milan and Kelly Knott shared apples and information about poverty-related issues in Prince Edward County.

Prince Edward County Vital Signs working group members asked the public to “Chew On This!” Tuesday outside of the Picton Library, to raise awareness about poverty related issues, and food insecurity.

The HUB Child and Family Centre, Alternatives for Women and Picton United Church Couty Food Bank representatives handed out apples and information about various programs in the County that address issues of concern. The “Chew on This!” dignity for all campaign marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

“In Hastings and Prince Edward counties, almost 12 per cent of the population is food insecure – about 2,500 in the County,” said Ellen Brownbill, who volunteers at the foodbank.

“Actually that number has gone up a bit since our Vital Signs Report in 2015,” said Diane Milan, of the County Community Foundation. “That’s why we are concerned. All this good work is going on. The food banks are here, Food to Share is here and yet the numbers are rising. One of the causes is poverty, but it’s not the only cause. Transportation is a big problem here for people who have the money, but are isolated and don’t have transportation.”

“It’s not just food banks giving people food,” added Brownbill. “It’s all that surrounds that, like teaching people it’s OK to get a squash from the foodbank and we’ll teach you how to cook it. It’s that access to the many services that people need to know about.”

On the plus side, Milan said the County is progessive in creating programs to help, “but we still have a ways to go.”

For information about local emergency food services, meal programs, cooking classes, food box programs, community gardens and student nutrition programs, visit


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