DABC Supports the Right to Food Philosophy at Gordon Neighbourhood House
Gordon Neighbourhood House (GNH) in the West End of Vancouver uses food to nourish the community in a variety of ways, including the facilitation of intercultural exchange and dialogue, community capacity-building, and community development. GNH’s food philosophy is why DABC is partnering with them. Our goal is to get people with disabilities involved in food issues in the West End and to help improve their food access and security.
- An understanding that food brings us together and can act as a vehicle for community-building.
- A recognition that all members of our community have a Right to Food based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, while also acknowledging that we as a community enjoy various levels of access to food.
- A commitment to sharing fresh, non-expired, healthy, and locally-sourced food whenever possible.
- A commitment to sharing food that is nutrient-dense, low in refined sugar and sodium, and not overly-processed.
- A commitment to working toward increased access to food for those who are nutritionally vulnerable.
- A commitment to providing opportunities for increased food literacy and community capacity-building for our neighbours.
- A commitment to sharing foods that reflect the diversity of our community, city, country and world.
- An awareness of the impact that our food choices have on the environment.
- A commitment to the reduction of our organizational ecological footprint by minimizing packaging and ongoing composting.
- Support for the development of urban farms and healthy food cooperatives.
Attend to loneliness: you're not the only one!
It’s holiday time and we’ve dusted off Resilience Tip #23 on loneliness. To read an update and our five tips for increasing social connection, read the December 2015 issue of our e-newsletter, Our Voice. If you’re not a subscriber, you’ll want to fix that! It’s free!
Simply visit our website and subscribe in the box at the top right corner of our page: http://disabilityalliancebc.org/. If you’re reading this after December 18th, you’ll need to get in touch with me to receive the e-newsletter article. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Resilience Tip #23 [originally published March 2014]
by Shelley Hourston
Most of us know that social connections increase our resilience. However, we may not be aware that absence of a strong social network–loneliness–has a direct impact on our health. Loneliness is complicated by stigma. Admitting that you’re lonely is often perceived as admitting that you’re a failure in some way. Lonely people must surely be misfits or socially inept. Especially in this age of social networking, it’s easy to believe that loneliness must mean that you are truly unworthy of human connection or companionship.
Psychologist John Cacioppo notes that loneliness is a bigger problem than people realize and has serious consequences.* Chronic loneliness is linked to a range of health issues such as low immune function, heart disease, depression and ultimately a shorter life. Chronic or long-term social isolation increases our stress response as if our bodies are waiting for a dire threat. Cacioppo points to the evolutionary nature of this reaction. Being alone, for our distant ancestors, meant abandoning the protection of the group and jeopardizing one’s genetic contribution to the next generation.
Loneliness is not measured by the number of social connections we have but rather by the quality of those relationships. Our fast-paced, urban and insular lifestyle is often cited as a cause of loneliness. A Globe & Mail article** provides perspectives on loneliness, “the longing that dare not speak its name.” For those of us living with disabilities and chronic illness, addressing loneliness is vital. Strategies for increasing and improving social connections, however, are diverse and will require some self-reflection. If you feel that you could benefit from growing or nurturing your social network it may be useful to consider activities you enjoy and existing relationships you might enhance. If you have suggestions for ways of managing loneliness that have worked for you and that you’re willing to share, let me know and I’ll compile them for a future post. Contact Shelley at 604-875-0188 (toll-free 1-877-232-7400 or email email@example.com.
* “Psychologist John Cacioppo explains why loneliness is bad for your health” (January 25, 2011). Available: http://tinyurl.com/kth7fr9
** Elizabeth Renzetti. “Life of solitude: A loneliness crisis is looming.” Globe & Mail (November 23, 2013). Available: http://tinyurl.com/kupgcys
A series of Resilience Tips were published in DABC’s e-newsletter, Our Voice from 2012- 2014. The complete series has been compiled in one document and is now available in the PDF file below.
Individual Resilience Tips may be reprinted when the following information is included: Resilience Tips Series 2012-2014 by Shelley Hourston, Disability Alliance BC (www.disabilityalliancebc.org)
Download Resilience Tips: Resilience Tips 1 to 30