Charitable meal provisioning in Greater Victoria 2008-2011




Bocskei, Elietha

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Charitable food assistance programs such as food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and community meals are the main food resource available to Canadians who are experiencing food insecurity. A survey was conducted with 48 agencies that operate food assistance programs in Greater Victoria, 30 of which were providing meals. In comparison to groceries or hampers, meals made up the majority of food relief available in the region. An exploration of the characteristics, resources and resource-related challenges of charitable meal programs provided insight as to how the food relief system operates, who is being served and the limitations facing agencies responding to food needs at the community-level. A comparison of meal provisioning in a selection of meal programs in 2011 to a similar survey conducted in 2008 found meal provisioning increased two-fold over this three year time span, all while agencies relied more on food donations and nearly half underwent major changes to their services mainly due to constrained resources. This study afforded the opportunity to discuss responsiveness of this system to food insecurity in Greater Victoria.



Food insecurity, Charitable food assistance, Charitable meal provisioning, Food security, Food banks, Soup kitchens