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. Across our country. 4.4 million Canadians are living in food-insecure households and 1 in 6 households in Nova Scotia are food insecure. It is a crisis. 

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

BIPOC are disproportionately affected

While anyone can be food insecure, statistically, BIPOC are more likely to struggle. Black households in Canada experience food insecurity at a rate of 3.5 times more than white households. Approximately 30% of Indigenous households are food insecure compared to about 11% white households. 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 starting with the resources below. 

Household Food Insecurity in Canada
Black Food Insecurity in Canada
2020 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Nova Scotia
Addressing Racism in Canada's Pandemic Response and Recovery

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If you'd like to learn more about food insecurity, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us to request a speaker.