The Brant County Health Unit is calling for improved food security programs following a rise in the cost of healthy eating in 2012.
Results from the health unit’s nutritious food basket survey show the cost of feeding a family of four healthy foods has risen to $183 a week in Brant, an increase of 4.6 per cent over 2011.
Barb Bartle, a dietitian with the Brant County Health Unit, said the increase puts more families at risk for food insecurity.
“The lower the household income the more likely a family won’t have enough money to buy food after paying for housing and other expenses,” Bartle said.
Bartle said food insecurity exists when people do not have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet dietary needs and food preferences.
The annual basket survey is done by health units across Ontario. Each May, the health units analyze the cost of purchasing healthy foods based on selections from Canada’s Food Guide.
The basket includes vegetables, fruit, bread, cereals, rice, milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, fish, poultry, canned beans and other staples of a healthy diet.
The five items with the highest price increase in Brant are apple juice, frozen green peas, dry roasted peanuts, peanut butter and chicken legs.