National view of household food insecurity : an analysis of the Canadian Community Health Survey, cycle 2.1
Master of Public Health
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Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life (Rome Deceleration of World Food Security, 1996). The most recent report on food insecurity shows that an estimated 3.7 million Canadians (14.7% o f the population) nationwide experienced food insecurity in 2000-2001 (Ledrou & Gervais, 2005). Ledrou & Gervais (2005) reported seven percent of Canadians experienced the most severe form of food insecurity: they or someone in the household did not have enough to eat because of a lack of money. Since 1989, there has been an increase o f more than 184, 309 hungry children and a 118% increase in the use of food banks throughout Canada (Canadian Association of Food Banks, 2005). Canada recognized the importance of food security in April 2005 by voting in favour of the UN Commission on Human Rights ‘right to food resolution’. This pledge supports a previous commitment that includes Canada’s signing of The Rome Declaration on World Food Security along with 186 other countries in 1996. Signing this non-binding treaty galvanized the Canadian government into action and resulted in the creation of Canada’s Action Plan for Food Security (1998) and a government branch called the Food Security Bureau. However, after several years, food security conditions have failed to improve throughout Canada.