Food Insecurity in Canada

Depressing Statistics, Harsh Reality

2/7/20241 min read

Food insecurity is a major concern in our city. According to Public Health Ontario, 1 in 6 London-Middlesex households experience it. Almost 52% of households cannot afford basic needs even though they have full time employment. They constantly lack nutritious and adequate foods. These realities can have a major impact on mental, physical and social health and can also negatively impact child development.

Looking at the bigger picture, food insecurity is a major issue in both Ontario and Canada as a whole. In 2021, 1.4 million children lived in food insecure homes and in 2022, these numbers rose to 1.8 million children under the age of 18. According to PROOF, a research program examining effective interventions to reduce household food insecurity in Canada, there are 3 categories of food insecurity:

Marginal: worrying about running out of food or limited food selection due to lack of money
Moderate: compromising the quality or quantity of food due to lack of money
Severe: missing meals, reducing food intake and even going days without food

According to Statistics Canada, in Ontario 5.2% are marginally insecure, 8.8% are moderate and 4.8% are severe. The Lunchbox London assists anyone who is in need of food, however, our focus is on those who are severely food insecure. A country like Canada should not have a single resident skipping meals for days because they cannot afford it.

What is the Canadian government doing to address our food insecurity? The Canadian government has included a proposal for the 2023 budget that includes adding an additional $10 million to the Local Food Infrastructure Fund (LFIF) which aims to strengthen food security in communities across Canada. They also announced a $99 million national top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit to support low income renters, and have also made efforts to make groceries more affordable. These changes are a good start, but until food insecurity no longer exists, The Lunchbox London will continue to assist those in need as best we can.