Food banks, pantries and soup kitchens originally designed for emergencies now struggle to meet rising, chronic need. And in both the grocery store and the food bank, the cheapest and easiest food to come by is processed, packaged, and unhealthy.
At first glance, it's not easy to be an ethical eater. We're told to cut back on meat to fight climate change and open up farmland for more nutrient-efficient grains. But we're also told to "eat local." So, on top of the multiple junkfood-and kale-related challenges of modern meal planning, how do we navigate this complex ethical menu?
Last New Year, we wrote about some of the issues we hoped Canada and the world would tackle in 2013. To reflect on the year gone by, we pulled that column from the archives -- it was a disheartening read.
Get informed about the products to avoid, and the products to embrace. Flaunt our best finds to our friends, in person and online. Share the knowledge and the excitement of shopping with a conscience, especially during this month of frenzied consumption and "great deals."
If there were such a thing as a rock star politician, the man known affectionately around the globe as "Madiba" is one. Today's youngest generation did not witness his historic struggle, release or election. Yet they know his extraordinary messages of equality, hope and forgiveness. And they are ready to receive his torch.
Through her energy and determination Emily has brought her community together to become more inclusive. She has also inspired others who face similar challenges. On December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, what will you do to be a difference maker and create an inclusive world for everyone?
It's likely one-year-old Rana was malnourished the entire year she'd been alive, since aid hadn't reached the village in her lifetime. Doctors could do nothing by the time she was admitted to the field hospital just north of the Syrian capital of Damascus. She died within 24 hours of admittance. Rana was born, and died, during the civil war that is slowly attacking Syria's children. The people left in her ghost town of Moadamia are bargaining chips for the rebel Free Syrian Army, which refuses to relinquish control of the area long enough for humanitarian groups to distribute aid. For these children of war every aspect of their life has been diminished, or stolen.
Months after my return to Canada, their hopeful and upbeat rhythms transport me back to the awe-inspiring country I am lucky to know. The Kenya they embody is a far cry from the scenes of terror at Nairobi's upscale Westgate that were part of the biggest news story in the world for four days.
What if your favourite TV show prompted you to take social action? What if, while binge-watching a full season of Friday Night Lights, a link appeared to a pledge against the use of performance enhancing drugs? Pivot TV, a cable network launched last month, is targeting millennials (ages 18 to 34) by incorporating these calls to action in its programming.
Inspired and compelled by celebrity luminaries including The Barenaked Ladies and Serena Ryder, as well as some particular youth favourites such as Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers, the feeling at We Day 2013 in the Air Canada Centre was electric.
This is where sh*t got medieval. And by this I mean we were building walls old school brick and mortar styles. The guys had to chip away at massive stones in order to make them fit. And then there was the "flicking". The process basically involved throwing mud at the new wall to reinforce the bricks.
In 2010, I joined Artbound, a nonprofit volunteer organization committed to championing the power that an arts education has on creating sustainable change. Our first 80s-themed fundraising event was an incredible success and raised $150k in order for Free The Children to build an arts centre at their Kisaruni High School for Girls. This would be the first of its kind in East Africa.
It's an intriguing concept: Help millennials answer life's big questions and change the world while watching television. But millennials, bombarded with information, tend to be skeptical, and they are notoriously elusive. Will they respond to calls to action presented on television?
Lights became a seasoned world traveller long before concert touring had her crisscrossing North America with hits like "Toes" and "My Boots." She told us what advice she would give her high-school self, and why she believes that education can break the cycle of poverty.
The headline that caught our attention: "Millennials genuinely think they can change the world and their communities." It's the kind of headline that makes us smile. If you don't believe your efforts can make a difference, you're probably less likely to even try. So how do we build that optimism in young people so they do believe?
Martin Sheen has become one of our most regular speakers at We Day events -- not for his acting résumé but for his cred as an inspiring social activist who has protested everything from the Vietnam War to nuclear weapons to the war in Iraq. We talked to him about some of the valuable lessons he has to share.