3.8 The "hand-to-mouth" existence of homeless youths in Toronto

The study examines the relationship between chronic food deprivation and food acquisition practices among homeless youth in Toronto. The authors found that the ways in which homeless youths endeavoured to manage their food needs reflect a “hand-to-mouth” exis­tence, characterized by the use of a wide diversity of strategies to obtain small amounts of food for immediate consumption. Many of these strategies were stigmatizing and unsafe; some were illegal. The severity of food insecurity experienced by homeless youths and their desperate means of food acquisition highlight the urgent need for more effective responses to food insecurity among this group.


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Hulchanski, J. David
Campsie, Philippa
Chau, Shirley B.Y.
Hwang, Stephen H.
Paradis, Emily
Publication Date: 
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness