Food Insecurity amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Food Charity, Government Assistance, and Employment

To mitigate the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (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, the demographic, employment, and behavioural characteristics associated with food insecurity in April–May 2020 was examined. One-quarter of job-insecure individuals experienced food insecurity that was strongly associated with pandemic-related disruptions to employment income, major financial hardship, and use of food charity was found, 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.



Beyond Hunger: the hidden impacts of food insecurity

This report illustrates the hidden impacts of food insecurity in people’s lives through a survey of 561 people in 22 communities across Canada. The people interviewed shared that food insecurity makes them ill, breaks down relationships, makes it harder to get stable work, and fully participate in society.



Hunger Lives Here: Risks and Challenges Faced by Food Bank Clients During COVID-19

This report provides quantitative and qualitative data about the experience of hunger and poverty in Toronto during COVID-19. Based on phone surveys with over 220 food bank clients in May and June 2020 and an analysis of food bank client intake data, the report demonstrates that COVID-19 has led to increased reliance on food banks. The rate of new clients accessing food banks has tripled since the pandemic began. Among new clients, 76% report that they began accessing food banks as a result of COVID-19 and the associated economic downturn.



The Who’s Hungry Report

The Who’s Hungry Report provides quantitative and qualitative data about the experience of hunger and poverty in Toronto. To create the reports, trained volunteers conduct face-to-face interviews with over 1,400 food bank clients at nearly 40 member agencies, collecting demographic data as well as information about the day-to-day experience of living with hunger.



Hunger Count 2014: A Comprehensive Report on Hunger and Food Bank Use in Canada, and Recommendations for Change