Skip to main content Skip to footer

Health Unit releases report on cost of eating

Huron Perth, ON – Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) has released a new report, The Real Cost of Eating in Huron and Perth. The report found that in 2022, the cost of groceries for a family of four in Huron Perth was $249 per week, or $1,076 per month. This does not include non-food items such as toiletries, personal care items or cleaning products.

The report shows different income scenarios and the percentage of income a household would need to spend on food. For example, a family of four receiving Ontario Works in Huron Perth would need to spend 39% of their income on food to meet the recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide. This leaves only $261 each month for all other expenses, not including rent.

“Not having enough money affects people’s ability to buy food. They often have to choose between paying rent, paying for utilities and buying food,” says Candace Cunningham, Registered Dietitian at HPPH. “What is very concerning is that when people can’t afford to buy enough food, they are more likely to have poorer health.”

The cost of groceries was determined by calculating the average retail price of 59 food items at six local grocery stores. These food items meet the recommendations from Canada’s Food Guide, and assume that people have the time, skill, and equipment needed to prepare them.

In 2022 a new tool was used to monitor food affordability and therefore the results cannot be compared to previous years. However, it is known that food costs have risen in Ontario.

The report also includes suggestions for addressing food insecurity. Since poverty is the root cause, the report identifies that solutions need to be income-based. Solutions include:

  • Implementing a Basic Income Guarantee
  • Increasing social assistance and disability pension rates
  • Implementing a Living Wage
  • Increasing minimum wage
  • Increasing investments for subsidized, affordable and stable housing
  • Income protection for precarious employment and low wages
  • Providing accessible and affordable child care
  • Investing in affordable public transit

The Cost of Eating Report 2023 is available on the HPPH website.

Contact Us

Huron Perth Public Health

Huron Office
77722B London Road, RR #5, Clinton, ON
N0M 1L0

Perth Office
653 West Gore St., Stratford ON N5A 1L4
Toll-free 1-888-221-2133

This website uses cookies to enhance usability and provide you with a more personal experience. By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies as explained in our Privacy Policy.