The Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit crunched the numbers when it comes to a living wage. The organization says people need to make $17.07 per hour based on a 35-hour work week to earn a living wage. The numbers were released Monday in recognition of Living Wage Week across Ontario.

Health Equity Coordinator and Registered Nurse Tanis Brown says the actual cost of living was calculated over the summer, factoring in expenses like shelter, transportation, food and recreation.

People living on a low income have higher rates of chronic illness, like diabetes and heart disease. Brown says the numbers give the Health Unit an insight into the challenges people have on a day-to-day basis.

The organization is hoping the announcement will encourage local business owners to consider becoming Living Wage Employers. Brown says because this is the first time the wage has been calculated, local employers can now contact the Living Wage Network to seek recognition.

For more information, contact the Health Unit directly by calling 1-800-660-5853.