Prevalence and experiences of food insecurity among immigrant women connected to perinatal programs at a community-based organization in Edmonton, Canada

Maira Quintanilha, Maria J. Mayan*, Megan Jarman, Rhonda C. Bell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the prevalence of household food insecurity among immigrant women connected to perinatal programs offered through a community-based organization in Edmonton, and to explore their experiences in coping with food insecurity. Design/methodology/approach: This study utilized a mixed methods research design. A community-based participatory research approach was used to engage health workers who were connected to immigrant women and families through the Multicultural Health Brokers Cooperative in Edmonton. Through the health workers a sample of 213 immigrant women connected to their perinatal programs completed the Household Food Security Survey. Following the survey, 17 women completed semi-structured interviews which were analyzed using content analysis. Findings: The vast majority of women (94 percent (n=199)) lived in food insecure households, and 53 percent (n=112) in severely food insecure. In semi-structured interviews, women specifically described not having enough money to buy vegetables, fruit and meat, and perceiving a lack of control over foods they ate and offered to their families. Practical implications: This study highlights the need for support to be provided to immigrant families for acquiring healthy food in Canada. Originality/value: The mixed methods design with a decent sample of often underrepresented research participants highlights an area in need of further research and greater support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2019

Bibliographical note

© Maira Quintanilha, Maria J.
Mayan, Megan Jarman and
Rhonda C. Bell. Published by
Emerald Publishing Limited. This
article is published under the
Creative Commons Attribution
(CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may
reproduce, distribute, translate and
create derivative works of this
article (for both commercial &
non-commercial purposes), subject
to full attribution to the original
publication and authors. The full
terms of this licence may be seen
at http://creativecommons.org/
licences/by/4.0/legalcode

Keywords

  • Community-based
  • Food insecurity
  • Immigrants
  • Mixed methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Refugees

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