By the Numbers: Rising food costs persist

Toronto – December 14, 2016 – A recent study from Dalhousie University projects that the average Canadian family will need to spend more money to put food on the table in 2017. The report cites rising energy-related costs, a weak Canadian dollar, and weather disruptions caused by La Nina as factors behind the rising cost of food. Meanwhile, as the price of food increases, the use of food banks continues to rise in Canada, as food bank usage is up 28 percent from 2008. A lack of income is the number one root cause of hunger in Canada, and more than four million Canadians struggle to put food on the table nationwide.   


The extra amount of money that the average Canadian family will spend on groceries and dining out in 2017, as compared to 2016. 


The percentage that food prices are expected to rise in 2017, which is higher than the increase from 2015 to 2016, and more than what is typically considered as “acceptable” food inflation.


The percentage that vegetable prices are expected to rise in 2017, mainly due to the weather phenomenon known as La Nina. The Dalhousie study says that Northern regions are the most likely to feel the brunt of vegetable price increases.


The number of Canadians who sought help from a food bank in March 2016. This figure is 1.3 percent higher than the same period in 2015, and 28 percent higher than the same period in 2008.


The number of Canadian children who received help from food banks in March 2016.


The number of provinces that saw an increase in food bank usage in 2016.


The percentage of lone-parent households that access food banks in Canada, even though they only comprise 10 percent of all Canadian households.


Percentage of those accessing food banks in Canada who are children or youth.


The percentage of Canadians who live in a state of food insecurity, meaning they do not have access to adequate amounts of safe, good quality, and nutritious food.

1 in 6

The fraction of employed Canadians who access food banks.

Sources:"Canada's Food Price Report 2017," Dalhousie University, 2016. "Hunger Count 2016," Food Banks Canada, 2016.