The provincial and federal governments gave free food assistance to neighbourhood community organisations as a means of reducing food insecurity and enhancing food accessibility for COVID-19 victims. The study examined the difficulties that residents and community organisations faced in getting and dispensing free food assistance, as well as what more was required to ensure food security and accessibility in the priority neighbourhood.

Participating in the community dialogue or the broad group discussion were nine representatives of the local community organisations, fifteen volunteers, and ten community people (food recipients). They discussed the difficulties they had accessing food during COVID-19 and what more was required to make the priority neighbourhood more accessible to food.  It was a qualitative study with a theme approach to data analysis and interpretation. Two note-takers collected data from the community chat. Community members who wanted to receive free food assistance encountered barriers due to a lack of information, language barriers, the social stigma associated with doing so, and fear of COVID-19. On the other side, the community organisations lacked access to adequate transportation, space for food storage, and a sufficient number of committed and qualified volunteers to help with food distribution. A shortage of funding also prevented neighbourhood organisations from feeding the populace. In order for local organisations to use the resources to increase community access to food, they needed an assessment of the resources that were already available. Additionally, the groups demanded cooperation and coordination from one another and provided food funding to impacted families. Additionally, in order to support and meet the community’s desires for increased food accessibility, local organisations needed to collaborate with community gardens, community kitchens, and food banks. For proper food accessibility in the prioritised neighbourhood during COVID-19, people and local groups faced information and communication obstacles as well as social, structural and systemic, financial, and structural issues. The study also revealed what was required to provide the population with adequate food access.

Author(s) Details:

Qazi Shafayetul Islam,
Bangladeshi-Canadian Community Services (BCS), Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Nasima Akter,
Bangladeshi-Canadian Community Services (BCS), Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Please see the link here: https://stm.bookpi.org/ECAFS-V7/article/view/8319

Keywords: Food bank, food support, cultural food, community organizations

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