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|Title:||Food insecurity, poverty and lived experience of homelessness: a study of women in Northeastern and Southwestern Ontario|
|Keywords:||Food insecurity;Women’s Health;Poverty;Homelessness;Geography|
|Abstract:||Understanding the connections between geographical location (Northern vs Southern Ontario) and gender inequalities and food insecurity, poverty, homelessness and health is vital within the current social and political context characterized by restraints in public funding. First, this study describes the experiences of poor and/or homeless women with or without dependents in two mid-size urban communities in Northeastern Ontario (City of Greater Sudbury) and Southwestern Ontario (City of London Ontario) with regard to food insecurity, homelessness, poverty and the perceived impacts on physical and mental health. Second, it identifies the profile of food-insecure women in Northeastern and Southwestern Ontario, as well as the factors associated with their general and mental health perceptions. The study employed a sequential descriptive multi-methods approach to address the objectives. A descriptive, qualitative exploration of food insecurity experiences among poor and/or homeless women in the two regions was conducted. Data were collected through a semi-structured interview with twenty poor and/or homeless women, 10 from each of the two communities. The participants were near homeless or absolutely homeless and all had prior histories of homelessness. The interview data were thematically analyzed. Subsequently, a quantitative secondary data analysis of extracted variables including sociodemographic, health and food insecurity from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS, 2014) was conducted to describe the profile and factors associated with general and mental health perceptions for 408 women in the northeast and southwest of Ontario. The main themes were food and financial hardship, motherhood, resourcefulness and health perceptions. The quantitative findings did not capture the association between health perceptions and place of residency among food-insecure women. The general and mental health perceptions of these women were significantly related to household size, employment, worries about running out of food, inability to afford balanced meals and cutting or skipping meals regardless of where they lived. This study’s findings highlight the intersection of geography, health, gender and vulnerability to food insecurity and show that Northeastern and Southwestern women merit greater attention and support in accessing nutritious food. Such findings are important in shaping gendered public and social policies.|
|Appears in Collections:||Doctoral Theses|
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|Areej Al-Hamad thesis_11.pdf||2.5 MB||Adobe PDF|
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