Poverty and Food Insecurity in Canada2024-06-27T04:45:26+00:00

Poverty and Food Insecurity
in Your Riding

Nearly 1 in 4 people across Canada can’t afford to put food on the table.

The root cause of food insecurity is poverty.

Every day in Canada, nearly 1 in 4 people worry about eating, compromise on the quantity and quality of their groceries and/or go without food due to financial constraints.

Food insecurity disproportionately impacts some groups, including Indigenous and racialized peoples, people with disabilities, immigrants, renters, and single people aged 18 to 64 who are living alone.

By the time people report experiencing food insecurity, they already have issues meeting their basic needs: from paying rent to buying prescription medication.

Food insecurity is a Canada-wide problem and an issue in every community—including yours.

A person in a wheelchair sitting and talking with a CFCC team member at a food insecurity advocacy event in Toronto
Person holding bags of sugar at a CFCC community kitchen in Toronto

Email Your MP

Everyone should be able to afford the food they need.

Join us in advocating for equitable income and social policies. We provide the information, all you have to do is click send.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we focusing on federal ridings?2024-06-26T19:49:41+00:00

Food insecurity is a Canada-wide problem that needs a federal response. We need to advocate for policies that are easy to implement, support people to thrive, and benefit everyone—no matter where in Canada they live.

Where can I find information about my riding?2024-06-26T23:16:40+00:00

Click through to our riding search tool where you will find key statistics about poverty and food insecurity in your riding.

How else can I help?2024-06-26T19:50:00+00:00

Help raise awareness across the country: share this site with your friends. Here’s a link to a ready-to-use social media graphic and caption. Tag Community Food Centres Canada and use the hashtag #FoodSecurityNow!

Where can I learn more about poverty and food insecurity advocacy?2024-07-03T13:59:14+00:00

Our website contains valuable resources about poverty and food insecurity alongside our policy stances.

At Community Food Centres Canada, our work is driven by a fundamental belief that food is a basic human right. To ensure that this right is realized for all, we are calling on the federal government to:

  • commit to reducing food insecurity by 50% by 2030, relative to 2021 levels
  • invest in robust income and social policies that address the root cause of food insecurity: poverty
  • ensure all policies to address poverty and food insecurity focus on the specific needs of different population groups
  • strengthen the social safety net, including Employment Insurance, and affordable housing 

We also publish reports based on lived experiences of food insecurity and poverty, like:

To learn more about the issues we advocate on, go to our website.

What sources and definitions are you using?2024-07-02T19:03:10+00:00
  • In developing this tool, we selected socio-demographic, income, and housing factors that are strongly associated with poverty and food insecurity, as demonstrated in existing research.
  • Our sources of data and information presented are: Statistics Canada’s 2021 Census of Population and 2022 Canadian Income Survey reports and Maytree’s Welfare in Canada, 2022 report.
  • Data in some charts may not add up to 100% due to rounding up/down or because data for some groups were excluded.
  • Where riding-level data doesn’t exist, we used other data, including provincial/territorial and national.
  • Social assistance stats include basic social assistance and shelter costs.

Here are definitions for the key terms we’ve used. For most of these terms, we’ve drawn on Statistics Canada definitions. For detailed definitions, visit the linked sources. 

Family This spans married and common-law couples (and any children of one or both partners) and one-parent families. All family members must live in the same dwelling (Statistics Canada, 2023).

Food insecurity People worry about eating, compromise on the quantity and quality of their groceries and/or go without food due to financial constraints (Li et al., 2023).

Household One or more people “who occupy the same dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada or abroad” (Statistics Canada, 2023).

Housing affordability When an individual or household spends 30% or less of their total before – tax household income on shelter costs (Statistics Canada, 2023).

Indigenous status Whether a person identifies with the Indigenous Peoples of northern Turtle Island (now Canada). This includes people who identify as First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit (Statistics Canada, 2023).

People with a disability This category spans people “whose daily activities are limited as a result of an impairment or difficulty with particular tasks” and people diagnosed with a developmental disability (Statistics Canada, 2019).

Poverty The poverty data for this riding is measured using the Market Basket Measure (MBM), which is Canada’s official measure of poverty. The MBM is based on the cost of a specific basket of goods and services (food and other necessities) that represents a modest standard of living (Statistics Canada, 2023).

Racialized population People, other than Indigenous Peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour (Statistics Canada, 2021).

Go to Top