Healthy Eating Not an Option in Ptbo for Residents on Low Incomes

Written by admin, October 16, 2013

October 16, 2013 – Public Health Releases 2013 Report “Limited Incomes: A Recipe For Hunger”

Today Peterborough Public Health released its annual Limited Incomes: A Recipe For Hunger report to recognize the United Nations’ World Food Day.  This year’s report shows Peterborough’s most vulnerable residents continue to suffer from an inability to eat nutritiously based on current food costs.

“It is distressing to see the health of thousands of local residents compromised because social assistance programs don’t provide enough income for them to afford nutritious foods,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “It’s well known that when people gain food security it not only improves their overall quality of life but reduces future strain on the health system.  With ten percent of our local households experiencing food insecurity, this is a public health crisis that requires the urgent attention and cooperation of all levels of government.”

Dr. Salvaterra noted that this year’s theme for World Food Day is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition” which serves as a reminder that in Peterborough, it is vital to consider what can be done to create a community with food for all.

While the report notes local food prices have increased by 10.5% over the past three years, the main issue for residents is not the cost of food, but that their incomes are too low.  For example, after paying for his shelter costs, a single man receiving Ontario Works benefits would experience a monthly deficit of $214 if he spent the $276 required for a nutritious diet, and this does not include other basic necessities such as clothing, transportation and medical costs.

Dr. Salvaterra said she is very concerned about this local issue worsening in the face of cuts by the province to funding for Discretionary Benefits and emergency housing benefits accessed by people on social assistance.

To access a copy of the 2013 Limited Incomes: A Recipe For Hunger report, please visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca, click on “About Us” and then “Plans and Reports”.

 

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For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence, Communications Supervisor
(705) 743-1000, ext. 391