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Discussing Poverty in Oxford County

Dr. Lynn McIntyre will be the keynote speaker at an Oxford County Town Hall meeting about poverty hosted by Operation Sharing.

WOODSTOCK - Operation Sharing is getting set to host an Oxford County Town Hall meeting to talk about poverty.
The evening will feature a panel of local leaders, experts and doctors who will talk about critical new research to reduce poverty.
The Keynote speaker is Dr. Lynn McIntyre. Here is her bio:
Dr. Lynn McIntyre is Professor Emerita of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She retired from her active faculty position in November 2015 and is now 'free' to work on ways to reduce household food insecurity--inadequate access to food due to financial constraint. Dr. McIntyre will lead off a town hall conversation on poverty reduction as it might apply to Oxford County by presenting key findings from her over 30 years of research on household food insecurity, which is a marker of deep poverty in Canada. She will discuss who is vulnerable, what policies increase or reduce food insecurity, and what needs to be done. Most of all, she will bust the myth that food-based rather than income-based solutions are needed.
McIntyre tells Heart FM she has over 30 years of experience studying the effects of poverty on health.
"One deep aspect of poverty is what we call insecurity, which means you have a lack of access to food because of financial constraints. Over the course of studying families and the situation and policies that actually move people in and out of this level of poverty, I am convinced these people need income to order to acquire food, they don't need food. Therefore these food responses from food banks to having a garden for the community or kitchen to help people cook from scratch, that these are not adequate responses for what is actually a large problem. The most recent stats show about 4 million Canadians are actually food insecure, so this is actually a very large problem and it goes without saying but I will repeat it, this is a major public health problem because it has health consequences for both physical and mental health."
McIntyre says she will be speaking about basic income and the goal is to make sure we can have a conversation with the community about this.
"So this is a first for me but when the City of Calgary, where I live, found out about it, they invited to do a very similar forum on September 6th in my home town. So this is actually very novel what Operation Sharing and Oxford County are trying to do. Obviously lot's and lot's of people talk about poverty, but the commitment to begin with a public consultation and imagine what it would look like, in this case if Oxford County eliminated food insecurity, which is a deep level of poverty, so it's not the same as eliminating all poverty and then hearing from people what that might look like with some experts providing information but then the important thing is the next day they are having a professional development workshop where those that can make this happen from social planning to public health to municipal and local government sit down and talk about how we can make this real. I think that is actually very exciting and very deliberant as a way we can make talk turn into action."
The meeting will be happening on Tuesday September 26th from 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm at the Unifor Hall in Woodstock.

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