FOOD INSECURITY IS A SERIOUS PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM THAT AFFECTS OVER 4 MILLION CANADIANS.
Food insecurity is the inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints. It is a serious public health problem that impacts physical, mental, and social health – as well as healthcare costs.
Statistics Canada began monitoring food insecurity in 2005 through the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). The most recent national measure was taken in 2012, with over 4 million Canadians affected by food insecurity.
It has been 35 years since the first food bank opened in Canada, 22 years since questions about household food insecurity first appeared on national surveys, and 10 years since we began systematically monitoring this problem in Canada. Over this period, research has been conducted to describe the extent of the problem, who is affected, health and other consequences, and the lived experience of food insecurity. There have also been critical examinations of current responses and policy directions.
This conference will provide an opportunity to share new and emerging research in food insecurity. Conference attendees can expect to learn what is known about the relationship between food insecurity and health, how food insecurity interfaces with social vulnerability, and what the broader social and economic implications of this problem are. The conference will facilitate discussion about the impact of existing policy interventions and the potential for new policy ideas like a basic income to tackle food insecurity. Attendees will gain an understanding of how the problem of food insecurity has been framed and how this has led to food-based rather than income-based responses in Canada. The conference will also provide a forum for food insecurity research from other high-income countries such as the US and the UK, facilitating cross-fertilization of ideas. Additionally, the conference will be a place to discuss how food insecurity research has been (and can be) used to inform the work of civil society organizations and health practitioners.
At Advancing Food Insecurity Research in Canada 2016, we will take stock of current knowledge gaps so that we can forge an agenda for future research that will lead to more effective responses to food insecurity in Canada.
University of Toronto St.George Campus
7 Hart House Circle
Toronto, ON M5S 3H3