Sociology professor Mustafa Koç is currently working to address the language, income and cultural barriers for refugees feeding their families in Canada. He uses this understanding to collaborate with government, community and industry representatives to shape public policy decisions around the mechanisms to address food insecurity on a global level.
As founders of the Centre for Studies in Food Security at Ryerson, Koç and his team first addressed food crises affecting Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, Iran and Canada; currently, they’re focusing on how and why Syrian refugees in Canada are struggling with food insecurity. Some of the food security concerns are short-term and can be handled with emergency assistance, better labeling rules and effective communication through media. Others require empowering communities to create community kitchens and gardens where people work together in seeking solutions. Changes in public policy are long term and more complex, and Koç’s ongoing research is contributing to the progress of a national food policy. The ultimate goal is to ensure food security for all remains top of mind, and to mobilize the public towards achieving better management of global emergencies for the 800 million people that continue to suffer from hunger globally, as well as the 4 million people affected in Canada.
At Ryerson University, research in the social sciences and humanities informs policy to support the health, nutrition and well-being of all people in our local and global communities.