Project Team Leader: Karen Davison, PhD, Faculty, B.Sc. Health Science Program, Department of Biology, KPU, Karen.Davison@kpu.ca
I employ mixed methods that have included ethnographic work, peer researcher approaches and epidemiological analysis to critically examine health and social policies in relation to nutrition and food insecurity, mental health, and addictions. Currently I am working with Fraser Health in Surrey to examine relationships between food insecurity and mental health related hospital admissions using longitudinal data. As part of my affiliation with the Social Justice Centre I plan to extend my work to connect KPU health science students with different faculty members of the Centre to create experiential and interdisciplinary opportunities that complements learning and enhances community health. Furthermore, collaborations between students and the various stakeholders of the Surrey-White Rock Food Action Coalition would be advanced to explore local food insecurity issues. In particular, this work would examine the role food provision may play in harm reduction. We would seek to leverage existing data (e.g., administrative data, environmental scans) and to actively engage those in Surrey directly impacted by food insecurity to establish whether food provision as part of harm reduction programs can improve the health and quality of life of people who engage in high risk behaviours. Furthermore, our work would critically examine the current system of emergency food relief provision in Surrey (e.g., food banks) and work towards developing viable alternatives.