Food Insecurity

What is Food Insecurity?

Food insecurity is the inadequate/insecure access to food because of a lack of money. The root cause of food insecurity is poverty. This is why emergency food programs are not a long-term solution to food insecurity, because the problem isn’t a lack of food.

Food Insecurity looks like worrying about running out of food or having limited food selection; choosing cheaper, less nutritious foods; or missing meals or not eating for days. All due to the lack of money to buy food.

Food Insecurity is a Public Health Issue

When people in our community don’t have enough money to buy nutritious food, their health is negatively affected. Food insecurity leads to a higher risk of chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, heart disease) and mental health conditions (anxiety, depression).

    In Chatham-Kent, 1 in 5 households are food insecure.

    The Cost of Eating in Chatham-Kent

    The Nutritious Food Basket (NFB) is a monitoring tool used to measure the minimum cost of eating for individuals and families in Canada. Ontario has its own NFB survey to support consistent data collection at a local level.

    CK Public Health uses the NFB to monitor the affordability of food in Chatham-Kent (CK). The average cost of food is then compared to rental costs in CK and applied to different household income scenarios. These scenarios show that incomes are too low for people to afford the cost of food and housing in CK, and some families do not have any money left over to pay for other necessities. Please see the 2023 Cost of Eating in CK Infographic for further details.

    Infographic showing the cost of eating in Chatham-Kent in 2023.

    Note: NFB data was collected in May-June 2023, therefore results will not reflect any increases in food costs since that time.