Food Access is a reflection of where and how households and individuals provide their own food supply. Do we purchase our food at Farmers’ Markets, supermarkets, or at our local restaurant? Are we able to grow or gather any of our own food and then preserve and store it for future use? Do we have a job or the monetary resources we need to purchase what we need?

Access is directly related to Food Security and the question of whether people have an adequate food supply and if not, what are the barriers that might stand in their way. These might include lack of means to afford food, the prohibitive price of food, the lack of food retail outlets and more.


Ontario Deprivation Index – Daily Bread Food Bank and Caledon Institute of Social Policy – 2009

Type of Resource: Tool, webpage, data tables
SFS Category: Food system development – measures and indicators, social determinates of health Access – Cost of food, poverty indicator

Webpage outlines the research, development, and data tables behind the 2009 Ontario deprivation index.  The index measures the degree and percentage of poverty in the province using 10 indicators of social health, including access to food.

The Crisis of Food Security: Building A Public Food System – Food Share – 2009

Type of Resource: Journal Publication
SFS Category: Alternate distribution and access strategies

Debbie Field presents an argument and strategy for developing what she terms a “public” food system.  Of greater relevance to community level organisations.

In Every Community a Place for Food: The Role of the Community Food Centre in Building a Local, Sustainable, and Just Food System – Metcalf Foundation – 2010

Type of Resource: Report
SFS Category: Food System components – Community Food Centres

By exploring entrenched food system barriers, this report encourages the development and further use of community food centres.  Core principles and development approaches are introduced.

Measuring the Food Environment in Canada

Type of Resource: Report, Meta-Analysis, Interviews, Case Study
SFS Category: Health and the Food System, Access – Food Costs and Food deserts, Urban/Rural distinction

This report acts as a meta-analysis of existing research into the Canadian food landscape and includes considerations around accessibility, availability, affordable, and quality.  Research gaps and future initiatives are addressed.

Household Food Insecurity in Canada, 2011 – PROOF – 2013

Type of Resource: Report
SFS Category: Access, household food insecurity

Using data collected from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), this report presents a statistical comparison between 2008 and 2011 levels of household food insecurity. The overall results indicated that household food insecurity continues to rise for most parts of Canada.

Food security and biodiversity: can we have both? An agroecological analysis. Chappell, M.J. & LaValle, L.A. 2011.

Type of Resource: Journal Publication, Literature Review
SFS Category: Sustainability, Environmental impact, Food system ecology, Access

Structured as an extensive literature review, this article explores the overlap between food insecurity and the loss of biodiversity, and identifies practical strategies for resolving both issues simultaneously.

Enough for All: Household Food Security in Canada, CBC Centre for Food in Canada, 2013

Type of Resource: Report
SFS Category: Health and the food system, Access, Food Deserts, Food Cost, Tradition/culture, Consumer preference/support

This report considers the social and structural issues leading to persistent food insecurity in Canada. Using existing statistics, literature, and targeted interviews, the authors recommend several strategies including a national school nutrition program and increased support for northern communities.

Assessing the relevance of neighbourhood characteristics to the household food security of low-income Toronto families. Kirkpatrick, S. & Tarasuk, V. 2010

Type of Resource: Journal publication, Case study
SFS Category: Asset & network mapping, Food Systems approach/planning, Community Resilience, Measures/indicators, Redistribution – building infrastructure, Food Deserts, Consumer preference/support

Using cross-sectional survey results and geo-spatial mapping, the authors concluded that increased proximity to discount food stores and community food programs like food banks did not mitigate the degree of food insecurity experienced by low-income urban households. Challenges the perceptions of community food programs and food deserts.

The Relationship between Food Banks and Household Food Insecurity among Low-Income Toronto Families

Type of Resource: Journal article
DOI: 10.3138/CPP.38.4.497
SFS Category: Community Resilience, Measures/indicators, Redistribution – building infrastructure, Food Deserts, Consumer preference/support, Farmers’ Markets/CSA/ other, Food Cost

This article summarises an investigation into degree to which charitable community food programs (i.e. Food banks) reduce household food insecurity. Challenges the dependence on food charity, and instead advocates for increased state accountability and poignant poverty reduction policy.

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