Firstly, what is household food insecurity? Food insecurity is a measure of the availability and accessibility of food. In the case of this report, the type of food insecurity referenced is the inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints – thus, the ability to afford food.
Alberta has a rate of 20.3% food insecurity, and this report highlights a striking number of socio-economic indicators that we are all likely to know, but perhaps less likely to want to admit:
- ~2/3 of households relying on social assistance were food insecure
- ~1/3 of off-reserve Indigenous Peoples were food insecure
- Lower income households were more likely to be food insecure
- More than 1/3 of female lone parent families were food insecure
- Every single racial/cultural identity was at higher risk of food insecurity than those not of a visible minority (though not all identities were of statistically significant higher risk)
The report recommends addressing root causes of food insecurity from monetary sources by re-evaluating income supports and protections for low-income and working-age families. I believe an overhaul of the entire social support system is needed, but changes to federal policies and programs are lengthy processes. Provincial and municipal changes from an urban agriculture angle can work to alleviate food insecurity in less time.