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      Exploring food security among recently resettled Syrian refugees: results from a qualitative study in two Canadian cities

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          This study aims to provide a qualitative in-depth account of the status and experience of food insecurity for Syrian refugee households in Toronto and Saskatoon, Canada. The study considers the range of geographic, socio-economic, cultural and gendered components shaping and determining the barriers and management of food insecurity.

          Design/methodology/approach

          The study included 54 semi-structured interviews with refugee families in Toronto and Saskatoon who resettled in Canada after November 2015. In addition, 15 semi-structured in-person or telephone interviews were conducted with settlement and support agencies to measure their capacity to respond to issues of food insecurity for Syrian refugees.

          Findings

          Syrian refugees reported experiencing food insecurity as part of the broader resettlement journey, including in the transitional phase of refuge and in each settlement context in Canada. Income status in Canada was reported as a key barrier to food security. Low-income barriers to food security were experienced and shaped by factors including food affordability, physical access and availability and the extent of familial or other support networks including sponsorship relationships. Participants also reported how managing food insecurity contributed to the intensification of gender expectations.

          Originality/value

          The analysis reveals food insecurity as both an income and non-income based concern for refugees during the process of resettlement. The study also highlights the importance of considering variations between primary barriers to food security identified by Syrian families and key informants as critical to the development of strategies designed to mitigate the impacts of resettlement on food security.

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          Most cited references 24

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

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            Acculturation, economics and food insecurity among refugees resettled in the USA: a case study of West African refugees.

            To assess the occurrence and severity of food insecurity, and examine associations between food insecurity and measures of socio-economic status and indicators of acculturation. Structured interviews among a non-probability sample of West African refugees at baseline and 6 months' follow-up. Setting Mid-sized city in north-eastern USA. One hundred and one caregivers with children under the age of 5 years and who have been living the USA for fewer than 4 years. Food insecurity was indicated in approximately half of households (53%). The occurrence of food insecurity was associated with measures of socio-economic status such as income, employment status and participation in the Food Stamp Program (P < 0.05). Measures of acculturation such as difficulty in the shopping environment and language difficulty were also associated with the occurrence and severity of food insecurity, as was time lived in the USA (P < 0.05). Among households who had been in the USA for 1 year or less, food insecurity was indicated in 73%, whereas among households who had been in the USA for at least 3 years food insecurity was indicted in 33%. Refugees are a potentially vulnerable group and our results echo others in suggesting a need for more thorough monitoring of the health and well-being of recently resettled refugees. These results also suggest that reliance on employment as the sole indicator of success in the resettlement process may be too narrow an indicator. Future research should focus on a wider range of measures of health and well-being.
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              Post-migration food habits of sub-Saharan African migrants in Victoria: A cross-sectional study

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                IJMHSC
                10.1108/IJMHSC
                International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care
                IJMHSC
                Emerald Publishing
                1747-9894
                1747-9894
                10 December 2020
                10 December 2020
                : 16
                : 4
                : 527-542
                Affiliations
                School of Public Health, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon, Canada
                School of Pubic Administration and Development Economics, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Al-Trafa, Doha, Qatar and the School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon, Canada
                School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon, Canada
                Department of Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon, Canada
                Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon, Canada
                School of Public Administration and Development Economics, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies , Doha, Qatar
                College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon, Canada
                College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon, Canada
                Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina , Regina, Canada
                Departments of Community Health Sciences, Aga Khan University , Karachi, Pakistan
                Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan , Saskatoon, Canada
                Ministry of Health, Victoria, Canada
                Department of Sociology, York University , Toronto, Canada
                Author notes
                Hassan Vatanparast can be contacted at: vatan.h@usask.ca
                Article
                654209 IJMHSC-03-2019-0031.pdf IJMHSC-03-2019-0031
                10.1108/IJMHSC-03-2019-0031
                © Emerald Publishing Limited
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 27, Pages: 1, Words: 9208
                Product
                Categories
                research-article, Research paper
                cat-HSC, Health & social care
                cat-VG, Vulnerable groups
                cat-IDMG, Inequalities & diverse/minority groups
                cat-SOCY, Sociology
                cat-RES, Race & ethnic studies
                cat-MIN, Minorities
                cat-SOCY, Sociology
                cat-RES, Race & ethnic studies
                cat-MLT, Multiculturalism
                cat-SOCY, Sociology
                cat-RES, Race & ethnic studies
                cat-RIL, Racial identity
                cat-SOCY, Sociology
                , Work
                , economy & organizations
                cat-LMOV, Labour movements
                Custom metadata
                M
                Web-ready article package
                Yes
                Yes
                JOURNAL
                included

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