1 in 5 households in Chatham-Kent do not have enough money to buy nutritious foods.
That is nearly 20% of our community.
CK Public Health’s new report “Food Insecurity in CK”, shows that in 2022 the average cost to feed a family of four was $242.58 per week or $1050.36 per month. After paying for rent, a family of 4 on Ontario Works has only $461.97 left over for the month to pay for all other expenses like childcare and transportation. Although the rising cost of food makes this issue even worse, food prices are not the cause of food insecurity.
So, what IS the root cause of Food Insecurity, then? Poverty!
People are forced to choose between paying rent and buying food. This is a serious issue that can result in major health problems, especially for people earning a minimum wage, and/or folks on social assistance, such as Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program.
Not having enough money to pay for nutritious food and other necessities has huge, negative impacts on mental and physical health. In order to address this inequity, it is very important to make sure that the basic needs of every member of our community are being met.
There are, however, some things that we can do to address Food Insecurity:
• Learn more about Food Insecurity
• Talk to friends, family and colleagues about the true cause of Food Insecurity
• Advocate for income solutions, such as:
o Creating jobs with a livable wage
o Providing a basic income guarantee
o Increasing social assistance rates (Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program)
o Lowering income tax for low-income households
o Affordable and accessible housing, transportation, and childcare
Looking for more information about Food Insecurity in Chatham-Kent?
Please visit www.CKPublicHealth.com/FoodInsecurity or contact a CK Public Health Nutritionist directly at 519-352-7270.