HALIBURTON, ON-The cost of eating healthy continues to rise.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRHU) said it conducted the annual pricing for a Nutritious Food Basket for 2019. The basket consists of more than 60 food items that are healthy and commonly purchased.
They found that on average in 2019, it costs a typical family of four to spend about $875.00 every month on healthy food.
Elise Azevedo Perry, a Public Health Nutritionist with the health unit said that the results for last year were similar to those in 2017 and 2018 however, the other costs of living continue to increase like housing and transportation. She said that because of these expenses, people are having a hard time putting healthy food on the table.
“People are not making enough money, whether they rely on social assistance or work in minimum-wage jobs,” said Perry. “This means families must decide if they will buy healthy food or pay for other basics like rent. Children who live in poverty will pay the price in the long run. We know that not having enough food – or the fear of not having enough – may lead to more anxiety, depression and other mental health problems.”
Perry said that in the recent 2019 Hunger Report, low-income families who cannot afford to eat healthy food work in full or part-time jobs and that there is a 27 percent increase over the past three years in the number of adults who are using food banks.
According to the health unit, food banks, emergency meal programs and other alternatives provide some relief in the short term but were not meant for the long run. “We forget that food banks were only supposed to be temporary solutions,” said Perry.
“What we really need is to find a long-term solution to food insecurity and poverty,” said Perry.
Food prices are expected to rise again in 2020 and residents are encouraged to learn more about the issue and the need for a living wage.
For more info you can visit the No Money for Food… is Cent$less campaign here.