Identifying Policy Options to Reduce Household Food Insecurity in Canada

Despite the long history of food banks in Canada, household food insecurity has persisted at high rates. PROOF’s research highlights the need for policy makers to shift their focus from food charity to public policies that increase the incomes of vulnerable households.

About Food Insecurity
About PROOF
Illustration of empty shopping cart casting shadow on map of Canada

New report:
Household Food Insecurity in Canada, 2021

Read the report
Read the blog post

Understanding household food insecurity

Food insecurity is the inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints. It is a serious public health problem, a marker of pervasive material deprivation, and a matter of public policy.

Statistics Canada monitors the prevalence and severity of household food insecurity through its population surveys. This monitoring has enabled research on the predictors of food insecurity, the impact on health and health care, and the effects of different policy interventions on food insecurity.

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How many Canadians are affected by household food insecurity?

Based on the latest data from Statistics Canada’s Canadian Income Survey, 5.8 million Canadians, including 1.4 million children, lived in food-insecure households in 2021.

Learn more about monitoring and the latest numbers

Who are most at risk of household food insecurity?

Food insecurity is a measure of material deprivation. It is most prevalent among households with inadequate, insecure incomes and limited, if any, financial assets, or access to credit.

Learn more about the predictors of food insecurity

What are the implications of food insecurity for health and health care?

Food insecurity has serious implications for people’s health and wellbeing beyond just poor nutrition and diet. And as a result, it takes a serious toll on health care resources and spending.

Learn more about the health implications

What can be done to reduce food insecurity in Canada?

There is a strong body of evidence showing that food insecurity can be reduced through policy interventions that improve the incomes of low-income households.

Learn more about these policies

About PROOF

PROOF is an interdisciplinary research program examining effective policy interventions to reduce household food insecurity in Canada.

Our work shines a spotlight on the size and seriousness of food insecurity in Canada, the inability for charitable assistance to resolve it, and how it can be remedied through public policies supporting adequate incomes. We provide evidence on the kinds of policy action needed and timely and reliable reporting of food insecurity statistics.

About us

How to tackle food insecurity in Canada

View video transcript and references

Latest Resources

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  • Photo of report, Household Food Insecurity in Canada, 2021

    August 22, 2022

    Video: Household Food Insecurity in Canada, 2021

  • Household Food Insecurity, 2021 cover

    August 16, 2022

    Household Food Insecurity in Canada, 2021

  • "What The Food ?!" The State of Household Food Insecurity

    June 15, 2022

    “What The Food ?!” The State of Household Food Insecurity

  • The Minimum Wage: A Powerful Tool to Reduce Food Insecurity

    March 29, 2022

    The Minimum Wage: A Powerful Tool to Reduce Food Insecurity

Featured Blog Posts

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  • Announcement

    Upcoming Webinar with Food Secure Canada – Sept 29, 2022

    Join us for a discussion on the current state of food insecurity in Canada, who are most at risk, and the evidence-based policy interventions that reduce food insecurity by improving the financial resources of low-income households.

    September 22, 2022

  • Announcement

    Insécurité Alimentaire des Ménages au Canada, 2021

    En 2021, 15,9 % des ménages dans les dix provinces ont connu un certain niveau d’insécurité alimentaire dans les 12 mois précédents. Cela représente 5,8 millions de personnes, dont presque 1,4 million d’enfants de moins de 18 ans qui vivent dans des ménages en situation d’insécurité alimentaire.

    September 22, 2022

  • Commentary | Research | Resource | Story

    New report finds persistently high rates of food insecurity, policy action on inadequate income needed

    We recently released our latest report on household food insecurity in Canada. In 2021, 15.9% of households in the ten provinces were food-insecure. Learn more about it here.

    August 16, 2022

  • Resource

    AHS review and recommendations on food insecurity screening

    Alberta Health Services (AHS) has recently published an extensive review of the literature on food insecurity screening in healthcare settings.

    July 21, 2022

  • Announcement

    PROOF’s new look

    We are excited to share our website’s new design and changes to make the findings of our research more accessible and impactful for informing policy action.

    July 19, 2022

  • Resource

    Newfoundland & Labrador Minimum Wage Review Submission

    Food First NL and PROOF have co-authored a submission to the 2022 Newfoundland and Labrador Minimum Wage Review Committee.

    March 29, 2022

Looking for additional resources on food insecurity in Canada?

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