International Women’s Day is the perfect time to dig into a brand-new report on something that preoccupies many women: ensuring people around them can eat sufficient, healthy, appealing food. The report is based on local research that considers how mothers living on low incomes in Peterborough feed their families AND the kinds of support provided by local, mostly women-organized community food programs (like Peterborough community gardens, A Taste of Nourish, Nourish Havelock, Peterborough Gleans, JustFood, Come Cook With Us, and Collective Kitchens). The study found feeding families to be complex work strongly tied to women’s sense of identity and worth. Specifically, the mothers experience pressure to be:
- “good” at mothering by taking primary responsibility for children’s well-being through food,
- “good” at consumerism by participating in society through purchase, choice, and thriftiness, and
- “good” at food program (both CFI and food bank) participation by showing gratitude and not seeming to rely too much on these programs.
Both the mothers and the community programs showed that food work is still feminized, under-resourced, and undervalued. For everyone to eat adequately, food programming must be complemented by government action that addresses food insecurity and poverty. If you are interested in how moms and food programs are supporting eaters OR what democracy has to do with it all, then check out Moms Feeding Families on Low Incomes in Peterborough and the Support of Community-Based Food Initiatives
Thanks to PFAN Member, Mary Anne Martin for sharing her research!