Food Insecurity in the News

On April 4, TVO’s The Agenda featured a panel discussing the costs and impact of hunger and food insecurity in Ontario.

Ontario is one of the wealthiest places in North America, and yet every year one in 10 people, including one in six children, face the issue of not having enough to eat. The Agenda examines how the province is handling food insecurity, and where its impact can be felt the most.  

Among the speakers was Dr. Valerie Tarasuk from the University of Toronto and principal investigator of PROOF – Food Insecurity Policy Research.  The Nourish Project and Peterborough Food Action Network hosted Dr. Tarasuk at a community meeting in Peterborough in October 2015.

The episode discusses a number of topics of interest to Peterborough Food Action Network members including Ontario food insecurity rates, food insecurity of employed Ontario residents, minimum wage, living wage, Basic Income Guarantee, increased healthcare costs of those who live in food insecure households, food literacy, dignity and the need for “Food Secure Employers”. Click here to watch the episode.

Dr. Tarasuk’s research group also released a national report this week entitled Household Food Security in Canada, 2014.

Including in the report is national food insecurity data comparing food insecurity in 27 major urban centres including the Peterborough CMA (Census Metropolitan Area*).

The report found:

An examination of food insecurity in the 27 major urban areas in the provinces and territories that participated in the 2013-2014 survey revealed considerable variation. The prevalence of food insecurity in 2013-14 was highest in Peterborough, Ontario (17.6%) where over 1 in 6 households experienced food insecurity. Halifax (15.1%), Moncton (16.3%), Saint John (16.6%), and Windsor, Ontario (15.2%) also had relatively high rates. The lowest rates of food insecurity were found in Quebec City (7.3%) where about 1 in 14 households were food insecure.  

(From page 18

This report will be discussed at the Peterborough Food Action Network’s April 21st meeting.

*The Peterborough Census Metropolitan Area is defined by Statistics Canada as the City of Peterborough, Township of Cavan Monaghan, Township of Douro-Dummer, Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan and Selwyn Township.