Jennifer Hawkins conducts a survey outside Buy-Low Foods in July.

Thursday’s food security forum will explore problem in Hope

They have collected the data, and now they just need to consult with their stakeholders on their findings before making it public.

They have collected the data, and now they just need to consult with their stakeholders, which include Fraser Health, on their findings before making it public.

The Hope & Area Food Security Coalition posed questions that query Hope resident’s food access trends.

They managed to get 373 responses and come Thursday, 7 p.m., at the Hope Golf Club, they will tell all in a public meeting.

“I think that affordability and levels of food insecurity are compelling issues that need to be addressed,” said co-chair Jennifer Hawkins.

Their survey asks where they get their food from, whether they had financial problems with buying food, whether they accessed food banks and whether they eat healthily and locally-produced food.

“Part of it is we’re wanting to eventually have a sustainable, resilient food system in Hope,” said co-chair Anne Todd. “So that if there were, say, a natural disaster or something, that we would be fine.”

Prices of food certainly has caught their attention.

“Everyone knows the prices are higher in Hope, and the grocery stores can tell you there are prices for that,” said Hawkins. “The people that can least afford to pay more for food are the ones that have to shop in Hope. They don’t have transportation out of Hope.

Hawkins elaborates that this forces some single parents to buy cheap, but low quality, low nutrition value foods.

“That’s all they can afford,” said Hawkins. “Can we compete against Walmart? Well, maybe not, but should we be trying to offer healthy food?

“There are things we can do in the community.”