Niagara Hunger Statistics

People become stuck in difficult financial situations for many reasons. The cost of living is expensive and always increasing, and some can no longer keep up.

This is true of the 7.9 per cent of Niagara residents who are unemployed.1 In addition, 49,020 individuals or 11.3 per cent of Niagara's total population turned to Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Employment Insurance programs in 2012.2

Even people who are working may not have enough money for healthy food. In Canada, 62 per cent of people who were worried about the amount, type, variety and quality of food in their household were working for wages or salaries.3 These individuals may also have compromised the quality and/or amount of food or may have missed meals.3

In 2013, a total of 10,100 individuals were served at Niagara food banks. This amount has grown by 15 per cent since 2008. A total of 34 per cent of these individuals were children.4

The majority of individuals who accessed food banks in Niagara were on social assistance or ODSP. A total of 73 per cent of individuals served at Niagara food banks were renting their home.4

Here's a look at hunger in Niagara and how you can help.

Read text-only version of Hunger in Niagara infographic.

Hunger in Niagara Infographic

Download Hunger in Niagara infographic.

Infographic Transcript

Food insecurity equals not being able to access healthy foods.

9.9 per cent of Niagara households are food insecure. Food insecurity and income are closed linked. 25 per cent of these households have no place to go for food.

The following is what it costs to feed a family of four per month in Niagara.

$2,152 is the monthly income of a family of four on Ontario Works in 2014.

$1,031 is market rent for a three bedroom apartment in Niagara.

$849 is the monthly cost of healthy food for a family of four.

$272 is the amount left over for:

  • transportation
  • child care
  • school supplies

What you can do:

  • Volunteer or donate to local organizations that help those in need
  • Talk to others about the many issues affecting the health of Niagara
  • Talk to your local MPP or politician
  • Donate to a local foodbank

Foodbank items that are needed include:

  • Canned vegetables, fruit and fish
  • Cereal
  • Peanut butter
  • Pasta and pasta sauce
  • Fresh or frozen foods
  • Hygiene products

References

  1. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. (2013). EI Economic Region of St. Catharines. Unemployment rate for September 7, 2014 to October 11, 2014. Retrieved from: http://srv129.services.gc.ca/ei_regions/eng/stcath.aspx?rates=1.
  2. Niagara Region Community Services. (2012). Public Health and Social Services Committee Report COM 36-2012. Follow up to COM 20-2012 The New Normal: Unemployment and Increasing Social Assistance Caseloads in Niagara Region.
  3. Tarasuk, V, Mitchell, A, Dachner, N. Research to identify policy options to reduce food insecurity (PROOF). (2014). Household food insecurity in Canada 2012. Retrieved from: http://nutritionalsciences.lamp.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Household_Food_Insecurity_in_Canada-2012_ENG.pdf.
  4. Food Banks Canada. Hunger Count data. (2013). Food bank usage in Niagara region.
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