Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Food Studies


Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern


Canada, Childhood hunger, Food charity, Food insecurity, Neoliberal, School food

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences


Unlike many countries throughout the world, Canada does not have a national school food program (Rutledge, 2016). As such, school meals in Canada are typically provided by community-led organizations or are paid for out of individual school budgets, if they are provided at all (Gougeon, Henry, Ramdath, & Whiting, 2011). In the absence of a national program, community-led organizations can be effective at providing nutritionally-adequate meals to students in need (Gougeon et al., 2011). Across the country, community members are participating in these organizations as staff and volunteers to meet the food needs of schoolchildren (Gougeon et al., 2011). However, the rich perspectives of these school food facilitators have not been deeply explored and integrated into school food discourse. The objective of this research, therefore, is to contribute to the body of literature on school food in Canada, specifically developing a deeper understanding of community-led school food programs and the people who facilitate them.

Using two community organizations in Regina, Saskatchewan as a case study, this research informs the question, "how and why are school food programs operationalized by community organizations?" Through qualitative interviews and field observations with the staff and volunteers of these organizations, school food facilitators shared insights about their practices, motivations, and observations as they operate within their specific community as well as within the broader Canadian landscape. Three emergent themes illustrate the class, gender, and race relations operating within the current climate of school food in Canada: (1) functioning within the neoliberal context, (2) operating as gendered subjects, and (3) acting to support racialized subjects. Together, these themes highlight the shortcomings of the neoliberal model - wherein gendered subjects facilitate charitable programs to support underserved, often racialized, community members - and point to possibilities for an alternative Canadian school food future.


Open Access



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