A Participatory Study of the Health and Social Impact of a Community Food Centre in Ottawa, Canada

Authors

  • Aganeta Enns School of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Myddryn Ellis Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Tracey O’Sullivan Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Peter Milley Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Elizabeth Kristjansson School of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15353/cfs-rcea.v7i1.366

Keywords:

Food Insecurity, Food Banks, Qualitative Research, Participatory Methods

Abstract

Food insecurity is a pervasive and persistent issue across Canada, where a growing number of people are accessing food banks. Conventional food banks may offer relief for immediate needs but typically have limited capacity to address longer-term food insecurity. This paper focuses on the Parkdale Food Centre in Ottawa, ON, which provides food assistance alongside a range of programs and initiatives designed to address food insecurity and related needs in its community. This qualitative study aims to examine how participation in the programs at the Parkdale Food Centre influences the physical, mental, and social health of people who access the food centre. Semi-structured interviews and a participatory photovoice project were conducted with people who access the food centre. The results indicate that people who access the food centre perceived a positive influence of the programs on their food, health, and social needs, particularly with respect to improved access to fresh foods, connections to social and health resources, and reduced stigma. Incorporating additional food, health, and social programming into an existing food assistance program may help ameliorate elements of food insecurity and associated negative outcomes within communities impacted by this issue.

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Published

2020-07-12

How to Cite

Enns, A., Ellis, M., O’Sullivan, T., Milley, P., & Kristjansson, E. (2020). A Participatory Study of the Health and Social Impact of a Community Food Centre in Ottawa, Canada. Canadian Food Studies / La Revue Canadienne Des études Sur l’alimentation, 7(1), 88–106. https://doi.org/10.15353/cfs-rcea.v7i1.366