Household Food Insecurity in Canada

This section is a starting point for those looking to learn more about household food insecurity in Canada. We address key questions for understanding this serious problem and how to effectively address it.

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.

How many Canadians are affected by household food insecurity?

Based on the latest data from Statistics Canada’s Canadian Income Survey, 6.9 million Canadians, including 1.8 million children, lived in food-insecure households in 2022.

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