The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Health Unit is asking people to take a stand.

HKPR is urging people to not just buy gifts and experiences this holiday but also buy into the idea of reducing poverty in the area.

A Social Detriments of Health Nurse with HKPR, Mary Lou Mills, says “while donating time and money to local charities are great ways to help in the short term, supporting solutions that get to the root causes of poverty can make an even bigger difference over the long haul.”

Mills urges the public when they are creating a wish list this holiday they think of and act on ways to reduce poverty. Which Mills explains that one easy step is to be kind and none judgemental towards low-income people. She adds “there are many reasons why people live in poverty, much of it beyond their own control.”

Mills suggests that people take the time to talk to family, friends, elected officials, and neighbours about the importance of income-based solutions. Some of the solutions that Mills recommends supporting are increased social assistance rates, paid living wage, basic employment standards to create more stable work, and promoting the creation of affordable housing.

“Raise awareness and lobby for change by talking to your family, friends, neighbours and elected officials about the importance of these income-based solutions,” says Mills. “These are all gifts that will benefit our entire community.”