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Food Insecurity

November 19, 2019

The Health Unit releases its annual cost of eating in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District

Each year, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit conducts Nutritious Food Basket costing. The results show that individuals and households living with a low income struggle to buy enough nutritious food after paying rent, bills, and other living expenses.

From the 2017 Canadian Community Health Survey, 9.4% or 6449 households in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark reported some level of food insecurity. “Food insecurity is not having enough income to buy healthy food.1 When money is tight there is less money for food. This leads to skipped meals, poor mental, physical and oral health and a greater risk of chronic disease”, says Registered Dietitian and Public Health Nutritionist, Marie Traynor.

Evidence shows a nutritious food intake plays a positive role for healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes, healthy growth and development and a risk reduction for chronic diseases later in life.2,3,4,5,6,7 Addressing food insecurity will likely also decrease use of the health care system.8

For more information, visit our Healthy Eating section or call 1-800-660-5853. You can connect with LGLHealthUnit of Facebook and Twitter for important public health updates.


For media interviews, contact: Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit at [email protected] or call 613-802-0550.

1Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health. OSNPPH. Position Statement on Responses to Food Insecurity. 2015.

2Dietitians of Canada, PEN: Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition Pregnancy Background. (2017). By subscription.

3Canadian Institute for Health Information, Too Early, Too Small: A Profile of Small Babies Across Canada (Ottawa, Ont.: CIHI, 2009).

4Kirkpatrick, S. I., McIntyre, L., & Potestio, M. L. (2010). Child hunger and long-term adverse consequences for health. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 164(8), 754-762.

5McIntyre L, Williams J, Lavorato D, Patten S. Depression and suicide ideation in late adolescence and early adulthood are an outcome of child hunger. J Affect Disord. 2012;150(1):123-9

6Vozoris, N. T., & Tarasuk, V. S. (2003). Household food insufficiency is associated with poorer health. J Nutr, 133(1), 120-126

7Tarasuk V, Mitchell A, McLaren L & McIntyre L. (2013) Chronic physical and mental health conditions among adults may increase vulnerability to household food insecurity. J Nutr. 143(11), 1785-93

8 Tarasuk, V., Cheng, J., de Oliveira, C., Dachner, N., Gundersen, C., & Kurdyak, P. (2015). Association between household food insecurity and annual health care costs. Can Med Assoc J. 187(1)