One In Eight Suffer Food Insecurity
The cost of three square meals a day has crept further out of reach for people with the lowest income in Simcoe Muskoka, a new report shows.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s annual Nutritious Food Basket Survey shows that the cost of feeding a family of four rose eight per cent in the last year.
The survey shows that, locally, one in eight households — roughly 70,000 people — does not have enough income to support a basic healthy diet. Within that group, 1,500 children are going to school or to bed hungry.
Public health nutritionist Vanessa Hurley says “This is a serious public health problem in Ontario and Simcoe Muskoka,” “Children who go to school hungry may not reach their learning potential.”
The Nutritious Food Basket Survey reviews the cost of a specific set of food items and measures them against income levels and the cost of rent, utilities, transportation and other necessities.
This year, the survey found that a single adult, living alone on Ontario works is spending 139 per cent of their income on food and rent. A family of four on Ontario Works is spending 89 per cent of their income on food and rent.
Hurley says “By the time people are experiencing food insecurity they have not only run out of cash, but have tapped out other income sources.
More information on food insecurity can be found on the health unit’s website at www.smdhu.org/FoodForAll