Food insecurity rates in Canada have remained stubbornly high. This is in contrast to other high-income countries where rates have fallen quite dramatically – for example, in the U.S. rates have fallen by over 40% since 2014. The three key determinants of food insecurity in high-income countries are the resources available to its residents, the constraints they face, and the price of food and other necessities. While extensive research has concentrated on the resources available to households vulnerable to food insecurity and the constraints faced by those households, much less attention has been paid to the role of food prices.
In this presentation, the speaker begins by covering patterns of food prices and food insecurity over time in Canada. He then turns to a discussion of the research that has been done on the connection between food prices and food insecurity. Based on the estimated impacts of food prices on food insecurity, he then provides some estimates of the potential impacts of food price inflation on food insecurity in Canada. The presentation concludes with some potential paths to reducing food prices – or at least preventing further increases – across Canada and to lowering the impact of high food prices on food insecurity.
Craig Gundersen is the Snee Family Endowed Chair at the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (BCHP) and a Professor in the Department of Economics at Baylor University. He is also on the Technical Advisory Group for Feeding America, the lead researcher on Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap project, a Round Table Fellow of the Farm Foundation, and a Faculty Affiliate of the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) at the University of Notre Dame. His research concentrates on the causes and consequences of food insecurity and on the evaluation of food assistance programs, with an emphasis on SNAP. Gundersen is a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economic Association (AAEA).