Se'era Anstruther, Postdoctoral Associate, PhD, MPH

Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine
University of Calgary

Exploring experiences of food insecurity among Indigenous and racial/ethnic minority individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative study

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals from Indigenous and racial/ethnic minority groups were more likely to experience household food insecurity in Canada. As the pandemic progressed, it became evident that the pandemic did not affect these individuals or communities equally. However, there is limited qualitative research in Canada detailing the experiences of individuals from Indigenous and racial/ethnic minority groups in accessing food during the pandemic. To address this gap in the literature, we conducted a qualitative descriptive study to explore the following among individuals from Indigenous and various racial/ethnic groups: (1) challenges related to coping with food insecurity during COVID-19 and (2) the perceived effectiveness of newly introduced and existing programs and policies in alleviating experiences of food insecurity. This presentation will discuss the findings from this study, describing the lived experiences of Indigenous and racial/ethnic minority groups residing in households affected by food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. By shedding light on these experiences, decision-makers can better understand the unique challenges faced by Indigenous and racial/ethnic minority groups during crises and work towards more inclusive and effective solutions.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Se'era Anstruther is a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Community Health Sciences within the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Her current research involves using quantitative and qualitative methods to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected dietary and health inequities among adults from Indigenous and racial/ethnic minority groups in Canada. She earned her PhD in Nutrition from the University of Saskatchewan, where she focused on comparing diet quality among preschool-aged children residing in urban and rural areas. Additionally, she investigated the barriers and facilitators that childcare directors from rural areas in Saskatchewan face in providing healthy food for children.