Toronto – October 11, 2014 – To mark this year’s World Food Day, October 16, it is important to note that the level of food insecurity in Canada is getting worse, not better. Food insecurity is the lack of income or resources to reliably access a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. An average of 1 in 8 Canadian homes experience difficulty putting food on the table, and 1 in 6 children are affected by food insecurity. Socio-economic factors, as well as where someone lives in Canada, have profound impacts on the severity of food insecurity.
Approximately 4 million Canadians have difficulty putting food on the table.
This includes more than one million children who are affected by food insecurity.
Households with children experience a higher risk of food insecurity than households without children. 15.6% of homes with children are affected by food insecurity, compared to 11.4% of homes without children.
More than 30 per cent of households with a lone female parent are affected by food insecurity.
Nearly 40 per cent of homes with some form of reliance on Employment Insurance or Workers’ Compensation have difficulty putting food on the table.
7 in 10 households whose major source of income is social assistance experience food insecurity.
The national average for households with some degree of food insecurity in Canada is 13%.
Nearly half of households in Nunavut experience difficulty putting food on the table – the highest rate of food insecurity among all of Canada’s provinces and territories.
Nearly 30 per cent of Aboriginal homes experience food insecurity – the highest rate among all demographics in Canada.
Second only to Nunavut, more than 20 per cent of homes in the Northwest Territories are affected by food insecurity.
More than 60 per cent of children in Nunavut are affected by food insecurity – the highest rate among children across Canada.
More than 30 per cent of children in the Northwest Territories experience food insecurity – second only to Nunavut.
Alberta has the lowest level of food insecurity among the provinces and territories, with a level of 11.5%. The rate of food insecurity in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Colombia is also below the national average of 13%.
Among Canada’s provinces, Nova Scotia experiences the highest level of food insecurity.
Although the level of food insecurity in Newfoundland and Labrador is higher than the national average, this province experiences the lowest level of food insecurity among children – just over 15 per cent – among all of Canada’s provinces and territories.
More than half
Half of Canada’s provinces (Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia) and both of its territories (Nunavut and Northwest Territories) currently experience the highest rates of food insecurity ever recorded.