Barriers of Local Organizations for Providing Free Food Support in the Priority Neighborhood, Toronto: What We Need Further
European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety,
Introduction: The provincial and federal governments provided emergency funding to local community organizations for free food support to people affected by COVID-19. The study's goals were to explore the barriers of the people and the organizations while receiving and providing free food support and what further was needed to give the people food support in the priority neighborhood.
Methods: Nine representatives of the local community organizations and 15 volunteers participated in the community conversation or the extensive group discussion. They shared their experiences about barriers and what we further needed to provide food support for the priority neighborhood like Taylor Massey. Two note-takers obtained data from the community conversation. This is a qualitative study. It used a thematic approach to analyze the data and interpretation.
Results: Information lacking about free food, language barriers, the social stigma associated with free food support, and fear of COVID-19 were the barriers of community people to receiving food support. On the other hand, the community organizations lacked information about who needed real food support, lacked enough transportation support to distribute the food, enough empty spaces to store food, and enough numbers of committed and trained volunteers to help with the food distribution. Also, the community organizations had limited funding to meet people's food needs. The local community organizations needed an assessment to understand the available resources so that local organizations could use the resources for an effective food program. Furthermore, the organizations required coordination and extended food funding to affected families. In addition, the local organizations needed to work with community gardens, community kitchens, and food banks to support and meet the community's demands.
Conclusion: People and local organizations had information and communication, social, structural and systemic, and financial barriers while receiving and providing food in the priority neighborhood. The study indicated what were needed to make the food support program effective.
- Food bank
- food support
- cultural food
- community organizations
How to Cite
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