Poverty rates expected to rise this spring thanks to rising food costs

Article content

The higher the price of food, the higher country’s poverty rate is expected to rise.

Advertisement 2

Article content

According to a briefing note by the Department of Social Development, the ongoing food inflation will rise 14% ore more over the next year for basic items such as peanut butter and hamburger.

Article content

This will also be reflected in Canada’s poverty rates, as reported by Blacklock’s Reporter.

“As food prices increase poverty thresholds are likely to follow,” the Nov. 28, 2023 note, entitled Food Insecurity, stated. “This could impact poverty rates in Canada in the coming years. The impact of high inflation will be reflected in poverty statistics for 2022 expected to be released in the spring of 2024.”

The introduction of the tax-free Canada Child Benefit in 2016 is credited for decreasing national poverty rates from 14.5% to 6.5% in 2020. Yet, the inflation of food prices helped raise the poverty rate up to 7.4% in 2021, recent available data suggested.

Article content

Advertisement 3

Article content

Last year, the Canada Child Benefit shelled out to families up to $7,437 per annum to preschoolers and $6,275 annually for school-aged children under 18. Six million children from 3.5 million families collected from the Canada Child Benefit at an average annual cost of $25 billion, per official estimate.

According to Food Insecurity, adjustments made to cost of living to program rates couldn’t match higher food inflation.

In the latest Monthly Average Retail Prices for Selected Products report by Statistics Canada, over a year Canadians were paying:

– 6% more for potatoes to an average of $4.97 per kilogram;

– 7% more for stewing beef to $20.48 a kilogram;

– 9% more for tea to $4.39 per 20 bags;

–  11% more for canned tuna to $1.82 per 170-gram can;

Advertisement 4

Article content

–  12% more for carrots to $3.65 per 1.4-kilogram bag;

–  14% more for hamburger to $11.72 a kilogram;

–  15% more for baby food to $1.64 per 128-millilitre jar;

–  18% more for peanut butter to $6.27 per one-kilogram jar;

–  19% more for orange juice to $4.70 per two-litre jug;

–  20% more for baby formula to $41.16 per 900 grams;

– 27%  more for white sugar to $2.92 per two-kilogram bag.

An estimated 13% of Canadians have “food insecurity” according to the briefing note. In 2020, the rate was 11%.

“Marginal food insecurity captures worry about running out of food or limited food selection due to a lack of money,” noted Food Insecurity. “Moderate insecurity captures compromises in the quality or quantity of food due to lack of money; severe food insecurity captures missed meals, reduced food intake and at the most extreme going days without food.”

Article content

Leave a Comment