The local health unit is sounding the alarm on food insecurity across North Bay and Parry Sound.
According to the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit’s 2022 Cost of Eating Well report, it is very difficult, and in some cases impossible, for low-income households to pay for the costs of living, including food.
The health unit’s annual report says the monthly cost of eating healthy in the District of Parry Sound for an older single woman is $292, $404 for a single man, $673 for a couple, $828 for a single woman with two kids and a $1,125 for a family of four.
According to the report, food costs are increasing with Statistics Canada reporting food cost increases in 2022 of over 10 percent along with inflation rates not seen since the early 80s. The report says everyone feels the pinch of rising food costs, but low-income households do not have enough money to afford the difference.
The report shows how a single man receiving Ontario works would simply not have enough money to cover rent and food in a month, that’s without counting other costs of living.
Health Unit officials are calling on the province for policy action in an effort to increase social assistance rates, calling the situation dire in some cases.
The survey is done as a way to monitor food affordability in NBPSDHU’s medical region. It measures how much it costs for individuals and families to afford basic healthy food.
According to the survey’s results, the root of the problem is poverty, with the report stating food insecurity must be addressed with income-based government policy change.
You can find the full report by the health unit by clicking here.