Valerie Tarasuk- Monitoring food insecurity in Canada: shifting the conversation from charity to public policy
When: Wednesday 13 January 2016, 4 pm
Where: City University London, in Room C308 of the Tait Building, for which entrance is through the University Building in Northampton Square.
About the talk: Food banks began to proliferate in Canada in the 1980s and rapidly became entrenched. Thirty years later, they remain the primary response to food insecurity in this country, despite an abundance of evidence that they cannot manage this problem. Indicators of food insecurity started to be included on national surveys in 1994 and consistent monitoring began in 2005. The resultant wealth of population data has enabled us to estimate the scale of food insecurity in Canada, identify the social and economic conditions that give rise to this problem, delineate its implications for individuals’ health, estimate the costs of food insecurity to our public health system, and document its sensitivity to public policy decisions. And support for policy reforms to reduce food insecurity is growing.
About the speaker: Valerie Tarasuk is a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Her research extends to Canadian food policy and population-level dietary assessment, but her primary focus is food insecurity. She has worked to elucidate the scope and nature of this problem in Canada and examine policy and programmatic responses. Currently she leads PROOF, an interdisciplinary research program funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health to identify effective policy approaches to reduce food insecurity in Canada.