Cost of eating in Haldimand-Norfolk continues climb- over 800$/Month/Family

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For the unemployed or those on social assistance things are bleak:  "In the case of a single male on Ontario Works, frequently they are required to spend almost their entire income on rent, and end up with approximately $100 of debt per month after paying only for rent and healthy food. " CP

For the unemployed or those on social assistance things are bleak: “In the case of a single male on Ontario Works, frequently they are required to spend
almost their entire income on rent, and end up with approximately $100 of debt per month after paying only for rent and healthy food. ” CP

 

SIMCOE- People living on low incomes in Haldimand and Norfolk Counties will continue to find it challenging to afford to eat a healthy diet this year.

The Nutritious Food Basket survey, conducted annually by Health Unit, monitors the cost of a nutritious diet over time. The prices of 67 standard items are collected from six local grocery stores to determine the lowest available price at which an individual or family could have an eating pattern that meets  Canadas Food Guide 2013 recommendations.

Results of the 2013 survey revealed the monthly cost of groceries for a family of four living in Haldimand or Norfolk County was $809.88. This figure represents an increase of $10 per month over the previous year, and close to $70 more per month compared to 2011 data.

Year after year, the results of the survey show that people living in households with limited income struggle a great deal to pay rent, bills, and to put healthy food on the table.

A family of four earning a median wage in Ontario spends about 10% of their income on food and another 10% on rent. If that same family was trying to survive on minimum wage or social assistance, they would be spending 30% of their income on food and 30% on rent.

After paying for groceries and rent, the family receiving Ontario Works would have only $587 left per month for the whole family to cover other necessities of life. In the case of a single male on Ontario Works, frequently they are required to spend almost their entire income on rent, and end up with approximately $100 of debt per month after paying only for rent and healthy food.

Both of these scenarios have not yet factored in the cost of all utility bills, transportation, child care, or other necessary monthly expenses. Also, these scenarios only represent some individual’s living situations and do not necessarily account for additional expenses a family or individual may incur, such as needing additional rooms for children of different sexes, requiring an apartment that is wheelchair-accessible, or having special dietary restrictions that increase the cost of their groceries.

For many people in households with low income, the choice is not between a generic and name brand product, but rather it is between food and hunger. Hunger has a dramatic impact on health, and to reduce the risk of health problems, we must continue efforts to help ensure that everyone has adequate access to healthy food.

Heidy Van Dyk, social housing manager with Haldimand-Norfolk’s health & social services department noted that the decision to spend what little money is available on either food or shelter costs is an impossible choice.

“It is completely understandable that an individual or family may decide to use someof their money for food and, as a result, get behind in rent or utilities. Once this happens, it often becomes nearly impossible to get caught up,” explained Van Dyk.

“Hunger and homelessness can quickly become a reality if additional supports from family, friends or community agencies and services are not available.” For the Silo, Kathy Heffer, RD Public Health Dietitian

Supplemental- Swiss have plans in effect to ensure all citizens have a ‘good’ wage via subsidy program http://themindunleashed.org/2014/03/swiss-pay-basic-income-2500-francs-per-month-every-adult.html

2 Comments to Cost of eating in Haldimand-Norfolk continues climb- over 800$/Month/Family

  1. Dunnville Communitygarden

    Community Garden Dunnville via facebook.com/TheSilo wrote:

    “Absolutely the Minga makes a difference in Dunnville, but this is a project outside of the Minga. Although they have been very accommodating with our start-up meetings.”

  2. Kitty Pawlak

    Kitty Pawlak via facebook.com/TheSilo

    Well its a good thing that a group of folks in Dunnville are getting together to organize and build a community garden. If anyone is interested please join us on March 18th for an open town meeting to discuss what you would like to see from a community garden. The location of the meeting is to be determined, but like Community Garden Dunnville and stay updated.