Food Insecurity Among Single Parents and Seniors: a Case Study in an Urban Population in Canada

Lay Summary 

Single parents and seniors are believed to encounter more food insecurity due to a complex web of disadvantages and discrimination. We carried out a community-based cross-sectional survey of single parents and seniors in an urban population to explore the level of nutritional awareness, household meal practices, challenges, and their coping strategies. The survey questionnaire was adapted from the Canadian Community Health Survey. Fifty single parents and forty-eight seniors were interviewed in the city of St. John's, Canada. Findings indicate that single parents were more disadvantaged than seniors and more vulnerable to food insecurity. For seniors, in addition to poverty, existing physical disabilities and loneliness limit the use of public transportation to grocery stores and affect their ability/motivation to prepare balanced home-made meals. The jobs of single parents result in time constraints, which limit the attention they can give to the quality of their children's diets and to accessing information about cheap yet healthy diet alternatives. We conclude by strongly advocating for improving the social safety net, particularly for single parents, for instance by promoting financial security, skill development, flexible working hours, and affordable childcare. Seniors need interaction with peers to encourage the eating of balanced meals, along with the increased promotion of healthy foods. particularly for single parents, for instance by promoting financial security, skill development, flexible working hours, and affordable childcare. Seniors need interaction with peers to encourage the eating of balanced meals, along with the increased promotion of healthy foods. particularly for single parents, for instance by promoting financial security, skill development, flexible working hours, and affordable childcare. Seniors need interaction with peers to encourage the eating of balanced meals, along with the increased promotion of healthy foods.

 

Adapted from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s42650-020-00037-5

Departments 
Community Health and Humanities
Funding 
Harris Centre - Applied Research Fund
Communities 
St. John's
Locations 
Newfoundland and Labrador
Themes 
Food Security
Public Health
Seniors
Single Family
Start date 
1 Jan 2021