This work analyzes the relationship between the precarization of everyday life and the increase in food insecurity in Catalonia (Spain). Based on an ethnographic analysis of the food itineraries of a group of people in a situation of precarity, this article examines their lived experiences under the pressure of having to meet daily food needs. The results show that gender differences are significant in terms of the strategies adopted, particularly in the forms of acquisition and preparation, places of consumption and support networks. Given that women are largely responsible for feeding the household, they are the ones most often managing the attendant difficulties. In situations where access to food depends on diverse and irregular sources, they engage in practices that both protect the family group’s basic need to eat and sometimes compromise their own health, eating less than is usual and/or sufficient, skipping meals or even, on occasion, going hungry. The study concludes that providing food involves a crucial set of knowledge and skills for social reproduction that is not incorporated into existing emergency programs, with specific actions to avoid gender inequality likewise being omitted. The article proposes that both issues be discussed and taken into account in health and social policy. This study analyzes a subject that has scarcely been addressed in Spain. The challenge in investigating food insecurity from a gender approach is not only to make visible the crucial roles of women in food security and their contribution to it but also to show how the process of precarization manifests itself unequally across households.
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