About Food Insecurity

It's important to understand why people in Nova Scotia are food insecure and the challenges that creates.

Household food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. 6.9 million people in the 10 provinces in Canada, including 1.8 million children, lived in food-insecure households in 2022.

22% of the Nova Scotians were living in food-insecure households in 2022, which amounts to a staggering 213,000 people. The 2022 numbers are a 5% increase from 2021 and higher than the 2019 pre-pandemic numbers (21%).

Why people are food insecure

People aren't food insecure because they don't have enough food; they're food insecure because they don't have enough income. And a variety of factors can contribute to this: 

  • Systemic racism and oppression
  • Precarious work and low wages
  • Lack of affordable housing
  • Lack of affordable childcare
  • Inadequate Income Assistance levels
  • Inadequate disability support
  • Mental and physical health challenges
  • The increasing cost of living

Black and Indigenous households are disproportionately affected

Overall, in Canada, the highest percentage of individuals living in food-insecure households in 2022 was found among Black people at 39.2% and Indigenous Peoples at 33.4%. We can't talk about food insecurity without confronting the racism, oppression, and white supremacy that fuels income inequality, and subsequently, food insecurity. 

The impacts of food insecurity

Food insecurity can be devastating. People who are food insecure are more likely to experience poorer mental and physical health outcomes. They often experience social isolation and face barriers to employment. With limited income, they face tough choices every day that take an incredible toll that's impossible to sum up in a short paragraph. To gain a deeper understanding of the issues, we recommend looking at some of our resource links