CNS 2018: Addressing Food Insecurity in Canada - “Why and How”?
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Addressing Food Insecurity In Canada - "Why And How"?
More than four million Canadians currently live in households experiencing some level of food insecurity, yet to date reducing the prevalence and severity of household food insecurity in our country is not a priority for policy interventions. In this symposium, we will examine what is known about the relationship between food insecurity and health in Canada, drawing on analyses of recent population surveys. We will then examine what is known about the root causes of food insecurity in Canada and the solutions to this problem, drawing upon qualitative research, population-level analyses, and food costing data. Finally, we will discuss the potential for community engagement through participatory research and knowledge to action strategies to shift thinking from downstream to upstream solutions to poverty and food insecurity.
Valerie Tarasuk: Food insecurity: what is the problem?
Valerie Tarasuk will provide a brief overview of the scope and nature of household food insecurity in Canada currently and discuss what is known about the relationship between food insecurity and health here, drawing on the results of several recent population-level research studies. She will then examine the existing evidence regarding the conditions that give rise food insecurity in Canada and the interventions that have been shown to mitigate this problem, considering the social and economic underpinnings of household food insecurity and its relation to public policy decisions. This presentation will lay a foundation for further discussion of the need to shift the discourse on food insecurity in Canada towards more upstream responses and some potential strategies to achieve this goal.
Patricia Williams: Tackling food insecurity through community-engaged research for policy change
Participatory Food Costing and related participatory research on the lived experiences of food insecurity in Nova Scotia have demonstrated the need to shift policy change efforts towards more comprehensive policy approaches that ensure a sustainable liveable income to meet basic needs, including a nutritious diet. For example, despite ongoing increases in both the minimum wage and Income Assistance rates (i.e., the personal allowance) over the past decade in Nova Scotia, owing in large part to advocacy efforts that have been amplified by the research of FoodARC and our partners, many low-income households are still unable to afford a basic nutritious diet. Within this context, I will examine how divergent worldviews on the causes of, and solutions to, food insecurity pose significant barriers to policy changes that will truly address the root causes of food insecurity. I will examine how key insights from participatory research has helped to build awareness, and shift understanding, of how structural barriers and related policies contribute to food insecurity, and implications for population health. Finally, I will provide some examples of knowledge translation strategies that have been developed by FoodARC partners to shift the discourse on food insecurity towards more upstream approaches.
Moderator: Jennifer Brady, Mount Saint Vincent University
- Valerie Tarasuk, University of Toronto
- Patricia Williams, Mount Saint Vincent University
***Original Source: "2018 Annual Conference", Friday, May 4, 2018
Last Updated: June 21, 2018
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