For individuals and families living on minimum wage or social assistance it can be hard to make ends meet. After paying for rent and food, they still have to pay for other basic expenses such as:
- Heat & hydro
- Child care
- Home maintenance
- Children’s school supplies
- Medical costs, and more.
When money is tight people often have to cut their food budget to afford other basic expenses. They may eat a less healthy diet or skip meals. This is called food insecurity.
Why does food insecurity matter?
All people should have access to a healthy diet. However, almost 1/10 households in Elgin County and the City of St. Thomas are food insecure. When people are food insecure, it can impact their physical and mental health, as well as their social well-being.
Elgin St. Thomas Public Health uses a survey called the Nutritious Food Basket to measure the cost of a healthy diet. The survey looks at foods from Canada’s Food Guide, including: vegetables & fruits, whole grains, milk & alternatives, and meat & alternatives.
Get informed on issues that matter to you and take action
The problem isn’t the cost of healthy food. The problem is that people don’t have enough money to afford enough healthy food for themselves and their families.
Learn more about:
- The many factors that impact health, including food insecurity
- A Living Wage: what it cost to live in St. Thomas and Elgin County
- The Basic Income Guarantee: an income program for those in need
- Jen’s story: The Real Cost of Eating Well
- Attend Bridges Out of Poverty: learn how to reduce poverty in Elgin-St. Thomas
- Take part in the Getting Ahead program: learn how to plan for your future
- Write a letter to your local government on solutions to food insecurity