Food Insecurity in Toronto
Food insecurity refers to the inadequate or insecure access to food due to lack of money. It affects almost 1 in 5 Toronto households (18.5 per cent) and is a serious public health issue because it is closely linked to negative health outcomes.
As a monitoring tool, health units in Ontario have used the Nutritious Food Basket (NFB) to measure the minimum cost of eating healthy for a person or family. Toronto Public Health gathers information from grocery stores across the City to track any changes in the cost of healthy foods from year to year. The tool is not considered a budgeting tool. Instead, the figures are best used alongside household incomes and other basic expenses to show different household situations and their ability to meet basic needs.
Learn more about food insecurity in Toronto and the Nutritious Food Basket:
- Food in Toronto: Affordability, Accessibility, and Insecurity – 2019 Board of Health Report
- Food Insecurity in Toronto 2019 – Infographic
- Nutritious Food Basket Scenarios 2019 – The cost of food in relation to other basic living expenses.
- PROOF – Information, research, and reports developed by an interdisciplinary policy research team investigating household food insecurity in Canada
Nutritious Food Basket Calculator
The Nutritious Food Basket is based on the cost of 67 food items priced from 12 stores across the City. Non-food items are not included (e.g. toilet paper, soap, diapers). The software program adds 5% to the basket cost to account for miscellaneous foods used in meal preparation, such as spices, condiments and tea.
Use the calculator below to find out the least amount that it might cost to buy nutritious food for you or your family in Toronto.