Culturally appropriate foods for Somali Refugee Path Immigrants (RPF) in the Greater Toronto Area: Planning lessons for integrating RPF

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Filson, Shawn

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University of Guelph


This paper examines the connection between food sovereignty and the food accessibility of Somali refugee path immigrants in the GTA. The analysis highlights the challenges and implications for Somalis as they search for culturally appropriate foods. With reference to focus groups and in-depth interviews by a research team that I was a member of on behalf of Dr. Bamidele Adekunle, in addition to secondary literature available on Somali Canadians, this major research paper provides an assessment of how food sovereignty for these refugee path immigrants could be improved such that they may be able to access more of their culturally appropriate foods in the Greater Toronto Area. As a member of this team, I have also administered questionnaires which will be analyzed later by Dr. Adekunle and his team. With his permission, this paper will present some qualitative findings from this study. The challenges which Somalis have faced are also related to the struggles many of which will likely affect newer and incoming Syrian refugees. Somalis have adjusted to life in Canada by shopping at ethnic stores, using substitutes for foods, and changing their consumption patterns to reflect typical Canadian lifestyles.



food sovereignty, food accessibility, Somali Canadians, refugee path immigrants, Greater Toronto Area, culturally appropriate foods