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Food insecurity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2017/2018 and May 2020

Released: 2020-06-24

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the financial stability of Canadians, with extensive job loss and reduced hours of work. Experts in food insecurity have signalled that the financial impacts of this pandemic could lead to an increase in the number of Canadians living in a situation of food insecurity.

To assess the impact of the pandemic on food security, a study was undertaken comparing the results of the recent Canadian Perspectives Survey Series from May 4 to 10 with results from the Canadian Community Heath Survey for the 2017/2018 reference period. While there are important differences between the two survey designs and questions on food insecurity, the study finds that there has been an increase in food insecurity.

  Note to readers

Data in this release are from Statistics Canada's new Canadian Perspectives Survey Series (CPSS), which represents a panel of Canadians who have agreed to complete a number of short online surveys. The CPSS is a probabilistic panel based on the Labour Force Survey and is therefore representative of the general population. The CPSS enables Statistics Canada to collect important information from Canadians more efficiently, more rapidly and at a lower cost, compared with traditional survey methods. The first iteration of the CPSS was conducted from March 29 to April 3 and collected information from 4,600 respondents. The second iteration of the CPSS was conducted from May 4 to 10, with mostly the same respondents. Statistics Canada would like to thank the Canadians who took the time to answer these questions at this time of crisis.

Products

The short summary article "Food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, May 2020," published as part of the series StatCan COVID-19: Data to Insights for a Better Canada (Catalogue number45280001), is also now available.

The infographics "Canadians experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, May 2020" and "Household food insecurity in Canada, 2017/2018" are also available as part of the series Statistics Canada – Infographics (Catalogue number11-627-M).

The fact sheet "Household food insecurity, 2017/2018," which features results from the Canadian Community Health Survey, is now available as part of the series Health Fact Sheets (Catalogue number82-625-X).

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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