Federal funds boost social science research in Peterborough

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Trent University will see funding for nine projects in the social sciences and sciences with combined federal funding of $ 1.3 million.

Funding for the programs is part of a $ 635 million national funding from the Government of Canada in science, research and engineering to support more than 4,800 researchers and teams.

A university research project focused on the implications of volunteering for older people and investigating food insecurity in the Peterborough area.

Examining how people volunteer as they age is part of Trent’s Center for Aging and Society’s research, said Mark Skinner, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Canada Research Chair in Health and Social Services at the rural aging.

“This program was created to build research capacity and train the next generation of students and academics in the issues of rural aging,” he said.

It focuses on how older people have become less involved in programs than in previous years, Skinner said.

“Many of these programs face challenges in recruiting and retaining volunteers. Either for physical reasons they don’t continually participate in the programs or because a lot of the volunteers in these categories are snowbirds, ”he said.

Snowbirds live in rural and southern areas, but not all year round, traveling during the colder months.

Skinner’s research will receive nearly $ 185,000 to continue his work in the emerging field.

Assistant Professor at Trent University School of the Environment, Michael Classen is working on researching food insecurity in the Peterborough area and how best to implement food production and consumption to make it more accessible to people. people.

“There are a lot of social and ecological issues on how to produce food sustainably,” he said. “A lot of researchers and activists focus on this and then there are a lot of issues about how we distribute food unevenly. “

Classen said his project is looking at how to bring these two separate but related problems together to solve them.

“A lot of people don’t have access to food,” he said. “Peterborough has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in Canada. ”

He said many marginalized groups with access to food in Peterborough have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Among low-income parents in Peterborough, we have seen rates of food insecurity far above average,” he said.

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Rates of food insecurity among low-income people, people with disabilities and other marginalized groups are also much higher, he said.

Classen’s research has raised approximately $ 45,000 to continue to search for ways to improve access to food in the Peterborough area.

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