GEO 106 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Three Cities, Main Source, Welfare

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10 Dec 2020
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Lecture 11 - Poverty and Food Insecurity in Everyday Lives
The Three Cities
Identified by David Hulchanski
City #1
Predominantly high-income area within the boundaries of the old city of Toronto
Located in the central city and close to the city’s subway lines
Since 1970, neighbourhood incomes have risen relative to the rest of the Census Metropolitan Area
(CMA)
City #2
Mainly middle-income area
Since 1970, neighbourhood incomes have remained fairly close to the CMA average
City #3
Low-income areas in Toronto
Since 1970, neighbourhood incomes have fallen substantially
Mostly in the northeastern and northwestern parts of Toronto
Growing Income Inequalities in Peel Region
Income inequality has skyrocketed in Peel Region since 1980
In 1980, only 2 per cent of Peel’s neighbourhoods were considered low income, but as of 2015, that
number has grown to 52 per cent
Overall, there has been an extreme decline in middle-income neighbourhoods in Peel Region, which
reflects the notion that the middle class is disappearing
In Brampton in particular, high- and middle-income neighbourhoods have decreased at alarming rates
In Caledon, the entire city was once considered middle-income, and while there are no obvious pockets
of low-income neighbourhoods, high- and very high-income neighbourhoods have grown substantially
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The Report
2017 - Report from United Way of Toronto and York Region - The Opportunity Equation in the Greater
Toronto Area (GTA):
An update on neighbourhood income inequality and polarization
The GTA is known as the “income inequality capital of Canada”
https://www.unitedwaygt.org/file/2017_Opportunity_Equation_Update_Low-Res.pdf
Food Security
Food security: “a situation in which all community residents can obtain a safe, culturally acceptable,
nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes self-reliance and social
justice”
Hamm, M, Bellows, A (2003). Community Food Security: Background and Future Directions. J Nutr Educ
Behav 35(1): 37-43.
Canada does not have a national food policy
What is Food Insecurity?
(http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2015001/article/14138-eng.htm)
When one or more members of a household do not have access to the variety or quantity of food that
they need due to lack of money
Statistics Canada Community Health Survey has a Food Insecurity component with 18 questions
differentiating adult’s and children's experiences of hunger
4 million Canadians, including 1 in 6 children,responded to at least one question affirmatively
Number of hungry individuals in Canada has increased by 600,000 individuals from 2007 to 2012
People who experience food insecurity also tend to report:
Poor or fair health
Poor functional health (an inability to perform key activities due to health problems)
Long-term physical and/or mental disabilities that limit activity at home, work or school
Multiple chronic conditions
Major depression
A perceived lack of social support, such as someone to confide in, count on, or go to for advice
Canadian food bank usage continued to increase across the country and especially in Toronto
Causes of Food Insecurity (according to Statistics Canada)
1.Level of Income and Source of Income
2.Number of Children in the Family
3.Type of Household
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Level of Income and Source of Income
Low income is directly related to food insecurity
In 2012, among low-income households, 41.4%of those with government benefits as their main source
of income experienced food insecurity
While 23.0% of those with an alternate main source of income experienced food insecurity
Government Benefits: where the main source of household income is one of the following:
Employment Insurance, Worker’s Compensation, Benefits from Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security
and Guaranteed Income Supplement, Provincial/Municipal Social assistance or Welfare and Child Tax
Benefit
Alternative Sources of Income: wages and salaries, income from self-employment, dividends and
interest (e.g., on bonds and savings), job-related retirement pensions, RRSP/RRIF (Registered Retirement
Savings Plan/Registered Retirement Income Fund), child support and alimony
Number of Children in the Family
(Child Food Insecurity)
Childhood obesity and a poor immune system are directly linked to lower consumption of fruits and
vegetables, milk products, and lean protein
Adults often attempt to protect their children from food insecurity by reducing the variety and quantity
of their own meals to prevent children from going hungry
In 20112012, in Canada, 8.2% of adults and 4.9% of children lived in households that were food
insecure
Children living in “government-benefit households” experienced MORE food insecurity compared to
children living in households with an alternate source of income
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2015001/article/14138-eng.htm
Type of Household
In 20112012, lone-parent families with children under 18 reported the highest rate of household
food insecurity at 22.6%
11.9% of unattached individuals experienced food insecurity
7.1% of couples living with children under 18experienced food insecurity
Couples with no children reported the lowest rate
The Healthy Immigrant Effect
Research has repeatedly found a "healthy immigrant effect"immigrants' health is generally better
than that of the Canadian-born, although it tends to decline as their years in Canada increase
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