The price of feeding a household within the capital rose greater than 20 per cent throughout the pandemic, based on a brand new examine by Ottawa Public Well being.
It prices not less than $1,088 per 30 days to feed wholesome meals to a household of 4 within the metropolis, up from $901 in 2019, says Ottawa Public Well being’s 2022 Nutritious Meals Basket survey.
For these residing on Ontario Works monetary help, or for single individuals residing on the Ontario Incapacity Help Program revenue, paying for gadgets like vegatables and fruits means going into debt, the report discovered.
Researchers checked out 61 nutritious meals from varied classes and tracked their costs at 14 shops in Ottawa — 12 in city areas and two in rural elements of town — between Might 17 and June 6, 2022.
Meals was chosen utilizing the up to date Canada Meals Information and lined 4 classes: greens and fruit, protein meals, entire grains, and fat and oils. The examine didn’t embody toddler meals, processed meals or allergen-free meals.
This yr’s examine is the primary since 2019. Ottawa Public Well being suspended the survey in 2020 and 2021 as a result of pandemic.
“The outcomes of the survey persistently present that people and households residing on mounted or low incomes would not have sufficient funds remaining on the finish of the month to afford their payments whereas additionally placing wholesome meals on the desk,” the 2022 examine discovered.
“Households usually select between paying for mounted bills (equivalent to lease and utilities), different requirements (equivalent to clothes, youngster care, medicine, transportation, and dental care) and shopping for groceries.”
About one in seven households in Ottawa cannot afford wholesome meals, based on the report. These households usually face associated challenges equivalent to poor psychological well being, continual well being circumstances and better charges of an infection, unhealthy dental well being and damage, the examine mentioned.
Public well being officers made a lot of suggestions to make meals extra inexpensive. The company is asking for extra social help advantages, jobs that pay a residing wage, a primary revenue, inexpensive housing, public youngster care, in addition to decreased revenue tax for low-income households.
Public well being officers additionally advocate free tax submitting assist within the metropolis.