BC Ferries employees working at Swartz Bay donated about 1,400 pounds of food to the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank following suspension of food services in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy of BC Ferries).

BC Ferries employees working at Swartz Bay donated about 1,400 pounds of food to the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank following suspension of food services in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy of BC Ferries).

COVID-19 threatens the food security of millions of Canadians

Stats Can finds many Canadians do not have financial resources to sustain ‘well-being’

New data from Statistics Canada compiled in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the food security issues facing millions of Canadians.

The report from Statistics Canada assessing health and social challenges associated with the COVID-19 situation in Canada finds some nine per cent of Canadian households were “food insecure” in 2017-2018. Food security in turn represents a symptom of larger economic insecurities as close to nine per cent of the Canadian population — about 3.2 million — lived below the official poverty line in 2018.

Families are qualified as living in poverty if they do not have enough income to purchase a specific basket of goods and services in its community. This market-based measure is based on the cost of a specific basket representing a modest, basic standard of living that includes the costs of food, clothing, footwear, transportation, shelter and other expenses for a reference family. These costs are compared with the disposable income of families to determine whether or not they fall below the poverty line.

RELATED: Peninsula organizations fund food bank ahead of ‘looming crisis’

For children under 18 years of age, the poverty rate was slightly over eight per cent, meaning that 566,000 children lived below the poverty line in Canada.

The new figures appear against the backdrop of warnings from foodbank operators concerned about declining donations, just as need is predicted to rise.

The report also finds more than one-half of Canadians had enough savings to maintain what the report calls their “well-being” for at least three months, which suggests that a large number of Canadians do not have enough financial resources to withstand a sudden drop in income for an extended period of time. Among Canadian families that reported having debt in 2016, 11 per cent skipped or delayed a non-mortgage payment, such as payments on a credit card, payments for utility services, or car payments in the past year.

This said, it is also important to note Canada’s official poverty rate has been dropping from 12.1 per cent in 2015 to 8.7 per cent in 2018.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depne@peninsulanewsreview.com

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This rendering shows the proposed warehouse for lands under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority near a Sidney residential neighbourhood. (York Realty/Submitted).
Sidney calls on Victoria Airport Authority to improve design of planned warehouse

Council stops short of a definitive statement for or against proposal

A partnership is looking to identify skeletal remains that were discovered by recreational divers in the Gorge Waterway this February. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Divers find partial human skull in Gorge Waterway

B.C. Coroner Service determines remains likely historical, not ancestral

A man was arrested after allegedly threatening people downtown on May 10 while brandishing this knife. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Man armed with a knife arrested for allegedly threatening people in downtown Victoria

Officers used de-escalation techniques during afternoon arrest

Colwood council voted to give businesses less of a cut than planned and will look for more cuts this week. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood council gets back to work after voting against 9.3% property tax hike

Emergency meetings this week will find more cuts, finalize tax plan by Friday deadline

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old bike rider on Vancouver Island already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Most Read