“Food is connected so much to health and well being, So when I can’t afford my own well-being, when I suffer as a mom, guess who else is suffering?”
Nicola Moore is the kind of person you want on your team. She’s capable and motivated, fun and well-organized. Not only that, she’s a mom to three kids under 9, a dynamo neo-soul singer/songwriter and hosts her own podcast about being a single parent. She is also, like four million other Canadians, food insecure.
“It’s a huge stressor. I am constantly thinking about how I’m going to feed my children. It takes up so much head space. It affects my sleep, my mood and my health. And I know that this can cause depression.”
“Food is connected so much to health and well being,” she adds. “So when I can’t afford my own well-being, when I suffer as a mom, guess who else is suffering?”
Nicola has found a renewed sense of purpose in her work as a peer advocate at the Hamilton Community Food Centre, helping others access the resources—maybe housing or mental health programs—they need. She sees herself as a bridge between struggling people and the supports available to them. But when income from this part-time work ends up clawing back on Ontario Works payments, and the Canada Child Benefit doesn’t get her family to the end of the month, it’s hard to see her own way forward.
“I’m meal planning, watching sales and using free programs to assist with my food budget. I just think of the activities I could be doing with my family if I didn’t have to spend all my time thinking about food.”