Rising costs of food and other living expenses mean money is tighter for the average family in our area compared to last year.
That’s according to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. The organization has put out its annual “Nutritious Food Basket” report, assessing the cost of a month’s worth of food.
According to the report, the average monthly cost for enough nutritious food to feed a family of four is $1,130, compared to $1,109 last year.
Meanwhile the average cost of rent has risen to $1,583 from $1,561, and the average income for that household has gone up to $2,800 from $2,760.
Health Unit staff members say that means after buying food and paying rent, only $87 remains for all other living expenses.
“When money is tight there is less money in the budget for food,” explains Communications Coordinator Susan Healey. “This can lead to skipped meals, poor mental, physical and oral health as well as put individuals at a greater risk of developing chronic diseases.”
Healey says residents should educate themselves about food insecurity and call their MP and MPP to advocate for things like basic guaranteed income and increases to the minimum wage.
We’ve arranged an interview with a Health Unit nutritionist to learn more about the report.