Food insecurity is a mounting concern among Canadian post-secondary students. This study was conducted to evaluate the content of food hampers distributed by University of Alberta Campus Food Bank (CFB) and to assess the cost savings to students, using these hampers. Contents of hampers distributed among 1,857 students and their dependants since 2006 were evaluated against Canada's Food Guide (CFG) recommendations and Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). Hampers were aimed at serving university students and one to five members of their households located in Edmonton, Western Canada. One thousand eight hundred fifty-seven clients in Alberta, Canada, were included in the study. Although all hampers provided adequate energy, their fat and animal protein contents were low. Compared to the CFG recommendations, the requirements of milk and alternatives and meat and alternatives were not sufficiently met for clients using > or = 3-person hampers. None of food hampers (i.e. one- to five-person hampers) met the DRI recommendations for vitamin A and zinc. Clients of CFB received Canadian dollar (CN$) 14.88 to 64.3 worth of non-perishable food items in one- to five-person hampers respectively. Hampers provided from the CFB need improvement. Nutrients missing from the food hampers could be provided from fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat products; however, these foods are more expensive than processed food items. The CFB provides a significant amount of savings to its clients even without considering the additional perishable donations that are provided to clients. Interpretation of our data required the assumption that all clients were consuming all of their hampers, which may not always be the case. Clients that do not fully consume their hampers may benefit less from the food bank.
Because of a lack of transportation infrastructure, Old Crow has the highest food costs and greatest reliance on traditional food species for sustenance of any community in Canada's Yukon Territory. Environmental, cultural, and economic change are driving increased perception of food insecurity in Old Crow.
To address community concerns regarding food security and supply in Old Crow and develop adaptation strategies to ameliorate their impact on the community.
A community adaptation workshop was held on October 13, 2009, in which representatives of different stakeholders in the community discussed a variety of food security issues facing Old Crow and how they could be dealt with. Workshop data were analyzed using keyword, subject, and narrative analysis techniques to determine community priorities in food security and adaptation.
Community concern is high and favored adaptation options include agriculture, improved food storage, and conservation through increased traditional education. These results were presented to the community for review and revision, after which the Vuntut Gwitchin Government will integrate them into its ongoing adaptation planning measures.