Social Justice Drop in Club

The Social Justice Group, known as the Community Action Network (CAN) seeks to foster the empowerment of people living in poverty and their allies, who wish to have their voices heard, through collective organizing and action. Participants meet to discuss current events & social justice issues and to work together to create positive change within the community. This club is geared to lower income community members, but allies are also welcome.  
 
The Community Action Network meets at the Table on Wednesday mornings from 9:30-11:30.  Meetings at this time focus on the issue of housing, a continuation of the Housing Outreach Campaign that CAN has been working on since January 2016. These meeting include a free healthy breakfast or lunch. The group meets at least twice a month, but does not meet every week.  Since location and times may vary due to activities and events the group is participating in, please check the Table calendar of events to find out which weeks the group is meeting.
 

If you are interested in more information about, or in  joining the Lanark County CAN meetings, or need transportation help to attend please contact Beth at 613-267-6428 x4.

The Table CFC - Social Justice

Social Justice Initiatives

Reflections on the Do the Math Challenge

April Mallett - Community Garden Coordinator at the Table CFCApril Mallett Community Garden Coordinator at the Table CFC

I have a fear of not having enough food. Most people can probably say the same, whether it is an immediate need in their life, or if they were to stop and think about it. In my case this fear comes in part from the fact that I have low blood sugar and if I don’t eat every 2-3 hours my body sends panic signals to my brain. Usually I can ease this panic fairly easily because I can afford to buy a snack when I need one and I can afford to buy enough groceries to eat as often as I need to and to eat a variety of foods. The Do the Math challenge changed the ease and convenience with which I can purchase food (how much, how often, and what kind of food) that I now realize I took for granted in my life. 

I had many learning moments during the challenge. For example, I learned that I find a lot of joy in preparing and eating food. I most often think of food as something that I need in order to function. It wasn’t until I felt the restrictions of the Do the Match Challenge that I realized how much pleasure I get from eating delicious and nutritious food. I also discovered how reliant I’ve become on buying meals here and there to keep my energy up. I was unprepared for the amount of time, thought, and effort required to create meals using only the food that was available on the day that I shopped at The Good Food Bank. It wasn’t until mid-week that I figured out how to make that time in my schedule and create balanced meals that would last me through the day.

But what stood out most for me were the emotional and psychological experiences I had during the challenge. I was often irritable or easily ‘set off’, I felt angry and resentful, and I was often distracted by food (when would I eat next? What will I make for dinner? What will I pack for my lunch?). Linking all of these thoughts and feelings was the sense that someone else was in control of how and what and when I ate. In other words, I had lost control of a part of my life, a big part of my life given that (like any other human) I need food to survive.

Control over food is an important issue for me, so it makes sense that I would be upset about it during the challenge. Usually, I think about control over food in terms of growing locally, growing your own, and in general taking back control of the food system from big corporations and agribusiness.  The way our food system is set up affects us all as individuals to varying degrees, by influencing what food is available to us, where it is available and for what price

DO THE MATH CHALLENGE LOG

Monday May 6th 2013

WHAT I ATE TODAY:

Morning: Oatmeal and smoothie (I forgot I couldn't eat before the challenge)

Lunch: Leftover soup and cornbread (cheat)

Dinner: Cooked whole wheat pasta noodles- plain (didn't have a can opener)

I need to be better prepared

I WAS FEELING:

Hungry, tired, distracted, angry, annoyed, weepy

 

DAY ONE THOUGHTS:

Panic- worrying about not being able to function without food. Thinking back- if I hadn't eaten in the morning, not being safe to drive

Lack of sense of control- lack of choice in how I eat- this would be harder in the winter.

What do I do about my cat?

Requires time- have to cook and be creative

  • Picked up food at 9:30- nothing "ready" for lunch
  • Thank goodness for the dinner at the Table

I take food and convenience food for granted

I was not prepared and made a bad choice in avoiding taking eggs and milk in the hamper (how to bake? What good is the flour?)

Harder to be hungry when I don't know what/how I will eat next (or even waiting for a meal- I have to be on someone else's schedule)

 

Tuesday May7th 2013

WHAT I ATE TODAY:

Morning: Banana, oat, and milk smoothie

Snack: Egg salad on cracker with lettuce

Lunch: Whole wheat pasta with beans and tomato sauce

Dinner: Ground beef, beans, pasta, tomato sauce, onion, spring garlic (foraged)

 

I WAS FEELING:

Hungry, sad to be eating my only apple for the week but grateful for my bananas.

Tired, yawning constantly

Distracted by the need for food

 

DAY TWO THOUGHTS:

More reflections on feelings of lack of control

Distracted by hunger

Cavalier attitude toward food highlighted- now saving every bit. Convenience and control

 

Wednesday May 8th 2013

WHAT I ATE TODAY:

Morning: smoothie, cracker and egg

Lunch: mash-up (rice, beef, beans, tomatoes, onion, foraged garlic) with broccoli

Snack: mash-up with asparagus

Dinner: mash-up with tomato, black bean and asparagus

 

I WAS FEELING:

Angry, agitated, hungry, exhausted, easily set-off/bothered, stressed, SO TIRED

 

DAY THREE THOUGHTS:

Wanted to quit, wanted a coffee, having trouble focusing on the positive

 

Thursday May 9th 2013

WHAT I ATE TODAY:

Not logged

WHAT I WAS FEELING:

DAY FOUR THOUGHTS:

 

Friday May 10th 2013

WHAT I ATE TODAY:

Morning: No breakfast

Lunch: Egg salad on crackers

Dinner: Community meal at the Table

 

I WAS FEELING:

Hungry, not eating enough- don't want to work or eat

Waiting for the community meal

DAY FIVE THOUGHTS:

Really wanted to quit today, just end early.

 

 

Yesterday the Table CFC took part in a Canada wide live stream event with Special Rapporteur Olivier De Schutter on his report on the Right to Food in Canada, hosted by Food Secure Canada.

The report has opened up a great conversation. Here is a short clip from the National about the event: http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/Power+%26+Politics/ID/2340326969/

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