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Race and food insecurity in Canada

A recent research collaboration between FoodShare and food insecurity policy research organization PROOF shines a light on the connection between race and having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Using nearly a decade’s worth of data from Statistics Canada’s community health survey, FoodShare and PROOF discovered that “the overriding factor determining vulnerability to household food insecurity is whether one is racialized as Black.”

From The Toronto Star’s reporting of the story:

Black households in Canada are almost twice as likely as white households to have trouble putting food on the table due to lack of money, according to groundbreaking new research based on Statistics Canada’s community health survey.

This is the case even when Black people are homeowners and have the same income, education levels and household makeup as white people, said Leslie Campbell, director of programs for FoodShare, which partnered with the University of Toronto on the research.

The data shows for the first time that there is a direct correlation between race and food insecurity, independent of all other factors.

Some more data from the report:

CSI member Action Against Hunger is working to address food insecurity across the country. National Programs Manager Mira Lyonblum says:

Our domestic initiatives are focused on alleviating food insecurity and malnutrition. Our signature program right now focuses on food literacy and justice education, through a program which brings mobile food gardens to schools along with: urban agriculture workshops; modules on nutrition, global food systems, differences in cross-Canada food affordability, and food sovereignty; a field trip to a professional kitchen to learn to cook your harvest; demographically diverse twinning, either with schools across Canada or internationally; a school committee set-up made of many stakeholders; curriculum-integrated lesson plans for teachers, and more. It’s fully customizable for groups of all ages, including adults – after all, people are experts on their own communities.

Read more about their Generation Nutrition initiative.


Do you have a plan to bring racial justice to food security? Become a CSI member, and let us see how we can help.

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