Seventy-seven percent of Canadians want country to provide more funding for food security, poll finds; 88% want food security programs to support small farmers in developing countries

CANNES, France , November 3, 2011 (press release) – 89 per cent of Canadians want Canada to insist that emergency food reserves meet the nutritional needs of children under age two who are the most vulnerable
75 per cent of Canadians say the most important thing every parent in the world should be able to offer their child is healthy food at every meal
88 per cent of Canadians say Canada should make sure that food security programs support small rural farmers in developing countries

Today the G-20 leaders sidelined development issues in order to address the Greek debt crisis and World Vision is fearful this crisis will dominate the whole summit. Food security was a key development issue on the planned G-20 agenda and the timing couldn't be more critical. Canadians are acutely aware of how tenuous access to nutritious food is for the 925 million people who don't have enough to eat.

In a new poll conducted by Ipsos Reid for World Vision, Canadians were overwhelmingly in support of food security measures and Canada's involvement in making sure all children and families have enough healthy food. World Vision has had great support from Canadians on issue of child health and is concerned that the health and nutrition needs of poor children aren't a priority this week at the G-20 Summit.

Statement by Sheri Arnott, World Vision Canada's senior policy advisor on food security and nutrition:

"While global food prices have been rising and Canadians have felt the pinch at the grocery store, we still spend less than 20 per cent of our household incomes on food. In developing countries poor families are spending up to 80 per cent of their household income on food. With food prices rising, this means they are often forced to feed their children cheaper and less nutritious food.

This meeting is about 20 countries, many of which are developing nations who are tackling widespread poverty issues in their own backyards. I came to this summit to be part of these discussions and talk about the issues of food security which are so critical for several G-20 countries, but so far the development agenda has been sidelined by the European debt crisis.

The G-20 has great potential, but it's still evolving and figuring out what its role in the world is. Understandably the European debt crisis has put a huge strain on the G-20, but with such a short time for leaders to meet—really only 24 hours—addressing this debt crisis can't be at the expense of issues that are critical for the 925 million men, women and children who don't have enough nutritious food to eat."

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

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