“We Should Never Be a Hindsight”: Food Justice in North End Halifax (K’jipuktuk)
North End Halifax is often informally referred to as a “food desert,” meaning an area with limited access to healthy and affordable food. This study examines food insecurity in North End Halifax as an environmental justice issue. I aim to address a disconnect between the food security literature – which has largely ignored issues of class and race – and the environmental racism literature – which has traditionally ignored food security issues. This study uses a mixed methods design, beginning with a GIS-based spatial analysis that provides context and scope, followed by personal interviews that probe the lived experiences and opinions of residents of the North End. My findings suggest that North End Halifax is indeed a food desert; however, the complexity of the problem extends beyond the lack of grocery stores in the area. Socioeconomic marginalization, political exclusion, gentrification, and the continuing legacies of racism all contribute to peoples’ inability to access healthy, affordable, and sufficient food. Initiatives already exist within the community to address these issues and improve food security. Recommendations include addressing the political exclusion of community members, increasing wages and income support, and putting in place policies to protect against gentrification. Solutions must prioritize the voices of community members.