Food insecurity amid the COVID-19 pandemic: Food charity, government assistance, and employment
Authors: Fei Men and Valerie Tarasuk
To mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has implemented several financial assistance programs including unprecedented funding to food charities. Using the Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 2, we examine the demographic, employment, and behavioural characteristics associated with food insecurity in April-May, 2020. We find that one-quarter of job-insecure indviduals experienced food insecurity, which is strongly associated with pandemic-related disruptions to employment incomes, major financial hardship, and use of food charity. Yet the vast majority of food insecure households did not report receiving any charitable food assistance. Increased financial support for low-income households would reduce food insecurity and mitigate negative repercussions of the pandemic.
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