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shopping cartEach year Public Health units use a survey tool, called the Nutritious Food Basket, to measure the cost of basic healthy eating in their local area. The 2017 results for Grey Bruce show that the average cost of feeding a family of four is $203.61 per week or $882.00 per month ($10,584.00 per year).

Twenty-one food banks, eighteen Good Food Box sites, seventy-two Ontario Student Nutrition Programs and many other supports exist in Grey Bruce to combat food insecurity. But, these programs only offer temporary assistance; they do not address the root cause of the issue, poverty. After rent and other expenses, many households do not have enough money to buy food and they become "Food Insecure". One in eight Canadian households, about 4 million people, experienced food insecurity in 2014.

food insecurity1Food insecurity affects individuals in many ways. It is linked to higher rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mental health issues and poor oral health.

The long-term solution to food insecurity is found in policy and system changes that provide income-related solutions. A Basic Income Guarantee, similar to the Guaranteed Income Supplement for older adults, addresses the root cause of the issue by ensuring that all community members have access to a minimum income level. It preserves the dignity of people and supports the basic right of food for individuals and families. The Ontario government has launched a three-year pilot project to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of the Basic Income Guarantee.food insecurity2

The Board of Health for the Grey Bruce Health Unit supports the position that household food insecurity is a serious public health issue and that an income response is required to effectively address food insecurity.

The Hungry for Action in Grey Bruce Infographics

OSNPPH- Food Insecurity is a serious public health problem

More information about the Basic Income

source: media release, Grey Bruce Health Unit

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