Despite evidence that food security among Canadian students is declining, the paucity of available research on the subject remains another barrier to its remediation. As such, compiling and sharing the information within this report is part of the GFC’s commitment to better alleviate the symptoms of food insecurity at Ryerson as well as address its underlying causes. Certainly the external circumstances that underscore student hunger are worrisome, but a nation-wide dialogue on the effects, experiences, and potential solutions to the problem is only the first of several necessary measures.
We believe that by examining the populations of students that are consistently falling through the education systems cracks, we can better understand how the system is failing those students. There is an urgent need for institutional and academic attention to the users of food banks, particularly because of the ways in which food security acts as an indicator of other socio-economic inequalities. However, in order to evaluate the myriad consequences of student hunger, its systemic origins within society, governance, and education must first be recognized.
The trends that indicate an increasing demand for food aid on Canadian campuses cannot be expected to stabilize until massive structural changes are made at every level of governance. This is where the Hunger Report seeks to define its value; in order to address hunger, we need to ask why people are hungry.
The purposes of the Hunger Report are to
- Identify the prevalence, distribution and severity of food insecurity among students, staff, and faculty at Ryerson University.
- Investigate the causal relationship between food security and financial pressures to which students are especially vulnerable.
- Put forward recommendations to the University that, if implemented, would significantly reduce food insecurity at Ryerson.