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Beyond Hunger: The hidden impacts of food insecurity in Canada

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Even before COVID-19, food insecurity—defined as inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints—affected nearly 4.5 million Canadians, many of them among the most vulnerable people in our society. In the first 2 months of the pandemic, that number grew by 39%, affecting 1 in 7 people.

Children, Indigenous people, racialized people, single parents, newcomers, and people in Northern communities all disproportionately experience food insecurity. This takes a toll on physical and mental health, and can lead to numerous other problems, such as social isolation.

Although there is growing data on food insecurity in Canada, this report seeks to paint a more complete picture of the problem, including how it affects people’s lives and the strategies they use to deal with it.

Community Food Centres Canada builds dynamic and responsive Community Food Centres and food programs that support people to eat well, connect with their neighbours and contribute, through advocacy and mutual support, to a more just and inclusive Canada. With our partners, we work to eradicate poverty and food insecurity and to improve the health and well-being of low-income Canadians.

For this report, we surveyed 561 participants who experience food insecurity at Community Food Centres and Good Food Organizations across the country to find out how it affects their lives and how they deal with it. The quotes and stories in this report create a nuanced picture of what it is like to lack access to food.


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  • Published

    Oct 14, 2020

  • Subject Area
    • Food & Nutritional Support
  • Audience
    • Service Providers (Non-profits, Community Organizations, Local government)
    • Government
    • Health Authorities
    • Funders
    • Academics
  • Category


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