The Dartmouth North Community Food Centre is hosting its first Diabetes Expo to raise awareness of type 2 diabetes and showcase free community supports for people living with diabetes in the area.
“November is Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14th is World Diabetes Day. We are coming together as a community to see how we can better support each other in diabetes prevention and management.,” said Roxanne Manning, Executive Director of Dartmouth Family Centre/Dartmouth North Community Food Centre.
The event will feature guest speaker Dr. Michael Vallis, an expert on diabetes management, and an announcement from the Medavie Health Foundation. Expo exhibitors include Sobeys, Lawtons, the Matter of Black Health, Diabetes Canada, the Dartmouth Community Health Team and NS 211.
“This diabetes expo is an excellent opportunity for community members to engage with professionals around the prevention and self-management of type 2 diabetes,” said Patty Faith, Executive Director, Medavie Health Foundation. “Empowering the residents in Dartmouth North, who may be particularly vulnerable due to food insecurity, to better understand and manage the risks as well as access the help they need to live their best lives is an important initiative that we are proud to support.”
People living with food insecurity can have up to a 50% higher risk of type 2 diabetes and this risk increases as the severity of food insecurity increases. While living with and managing any chronic disease can be isolating and stressful. The Dartmouth North Diabetes Expo is a chance to see “what your community can do for you” and how diabetes management can be made easier.
Diabetes is a growing issue in Canada. 11 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes, and this is expected to rise to 13.6 million by 2025. In addition, there are an estimated 1.5 million Canadians with type 2 diabetes who don’t know they have it. Diabetes has significant impacts on cardiovascular health, kidney health and vision – for example, diabetes is a cause of 40% of heart attacks, 50% of kidney failure requiring dialysis.
The Dartmouth North Diabetes Expo has been organized by Dartmouth North Community Food Centre’s Community Peer Advocates, Community Food Centre staff members, and students from the Mount Saint Vincent University with support from a grant from Medavie Health Foundation.