Food insecurity is an issue deeply intertwined with the health and economic well-being of families, and social development more broadly. Food-insecure families are more likely to experience adverse effects to their health and well-being, which include (but are not limited to) restricted mobility and chronic conditions, poor mental health and mental distress.
Food insecurity impacts not only individuals, but also families and communities, and incurs considerable costs on the health care system – it’s a matter of family well-being and public health. As such, the Zero Hunger goal aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
Key facts and statistics:
- In 2018, 1 in 4 children and youth under 18 (23%) say they go to bed or school hungry at least sometimes because there is not enough food at home.
- In 2015–2016, approximately 16% of households in reporting provinces and territories across Canada experienced food insecurity.
- In 2015–2016, more than half (51%) of households in Nunavut were food insecure – by far the highest rate in Canada and more than three times the average rate of the remaining reporting provinces and territories (11%).
- In 2015–2016, nearly three-quarters of the children in Nunavut (72%) and one-third of the children in the Northwest Territories (32%) lived in food-insecure households, compared with 16% to 23% among the remaining reporting provinces and territories.
Sources: UNICEF Canada; Statistics Canada; PROOF Food Insecurity Policy Research