Peterborough Public Health Releases 2022 Report Addressing Food Insecurity in Peterborough

Written by Comms Team, November 17, 2022

A Key Ingredient in the Recipe for Health Equity

Today, Peterborough Public Health releases the 2022 Report Addressing Food Insecurity in Peterborough. The report provides significant insight into the current local context of food insecurity and food affordability, and advocates for promising strategies to address the income roots of food insecurity.

“Food insecurity, or worrying about running out of money for food, is a health equity issue,” says Lauren Kennedy, Registered Dietitian at Peterborough Public Health. “Health equity is when people have fair opportunities to meet their health potential. However, food insecurity disproportionately impacts under-served groups, such as racialized people, people relying on social assistance, and lone-parent families. People living with food insecurity have an increased risk for poor mental health, chronic diseases, infections, and even premature death.”

Although food prices have increased dramatically over the past year, the main issue is that some incomes (e.g. minimum wage, Ontario Works, and the Ontario Disability Support Program) are too low to afford the basic cost of living. “It is concerning that some incomes are so low that we are seeing deficits after accounting for the cost of food and rent.” says Kennedy. “These deficits occur even before all other basic needs are considered, such as clothing, medications, and transportation, among many others.”

This gap between the cost of basic needs, and incomes is echoed by the United Way’s 2022 Living Wage report released earlier this week, as part of Ontario Living Wage Week. Jim Russell, CEO of United Way Peterborough and District explains, “A living wage shows the absolute minimum wage that a resident needs to live and eat in Peterborough region. This number is climbing each year and is exposing a gap in the amount of money that is costs to live and the money being provided by government benefit programs.”

“Food insecurity is connected to many critical community issues,” says Dr. Thomas Piggott, Medical Officer of Health. “Working together to change our systems can support underserved groups, including single-parent families, people impacted by the drug poisoning crisis, and those vulnerable to health impacts of climate change.”

“We encourage all to read our 2022 Report on Addressing Food Insecurity in Peterborough”. Dr. Piggott adds, “Learning more and speaking up for change can make a difference. Together, we can create a community where no one is left behind.”

The 2022 Report Addressing Food Insecurity in Peterborough can be found online at

For further information, please contact:

Sarah Gill
A/Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 352