TBDHU Releases Food Insecurity Report

an empty fridge

Getting enough to eat continues to be difficult for many households, as shown in the 2023 Cost of Eating Well in the District of Thunder Bay report, which was officially released by the Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) yesterday. TBDHU monitors local food affordability by assessing the cost of eating for different household sizes and income scenarios, such as a family of four earning a minimum wage, or a single parent relying on social assistance. Local food costing in stores and through local online platforms was conducted by TBDHU, based on 61 food items identified in the Nutritious Food Basket that are nutrient dense and commonly purchased.

TBDHU found that, in 2023, an average family of four (two adults and two children) spends $1,204.60 per month on basic food items. This represents an increase of $158.60 per month, or 15.2%, from 2022.

“When families cannot afford the quality or amount of food they need to stay healthy, they are food insecure,” said Kim McGibbon, Public Health Nutritionist “As food is a flexible expense, many families do not have enough money to buy food after paying for rent and utilities.”

The rate of food insecurity across TBDHU was nearly one in five in 2022. TBDHU is committed to educating community leaders and partners on food insecurity and poverty issues that are affecting the ability for households across the District of Thunder Bay to purchase nourishing foods.

“Food banks were created to provide temporary relief to food insecurity”, says Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health. “Addressing food insecurity over the long-term requires income-based solutions, such as providing individuals with a living wage that reflects the true costs of living and providing a basic income guarantee.”

Yesterday at its Board meeting, the TBDHU Board of Health endorsed correspondence to the National Finance Committee and the Prime Minister in support of Bill S-233, which includes a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income. The Board also acknowledged the importance of continued monitoring of local food affordability and using this measure to assist the province in determining adequate social assistance rates.

To read the full report, visit: Cost of Eating Well in the District of Thunder Bay, 2023, and Hungry for Change, 2023.


For more information: TBDHU Media Line 807-625-7994 or news@tbdhu.com

News Type
News Releases
Health Topics
Health Equity
Healthy Eating