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Nutritious Food Basket

Each year in May, the Porcupine Health Unit conducts the Nutritious Food Basket Survey which is used to determine the cost of eating well in the Cochrane District. The survey requires visiting six grocery stores in our district to price 67 food items which make up a nutritious diet. The information collected from the Nutritious Food Basket Survey is used:

  • To help you determine the cost of eating well for your family
  • To raise awareness about the cost of healthy eating
  • To monitor the cost of food over time to determine if prices have changed
  • To compare the cost of eating healthy in our area to the rest of Ontario
  • To help assess the adequacy of minimal wage incomes and advocate for change

Food insecurity is when people don't have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food, and it is a big issue in our communities. What can you do? Get involved! There are many food security initiatives that exist in our area. Volunteer at a local food bank, soup kitchen, community gardens, with community partners like Anti-Hunger Coalition Timmins, and others.

Below you will find a table with household and income scenarios that show just how much, or how little money there is left each month after paying for rent and food. This demonstrates how individuals and families living on low incomes are often forced to compromise healthy eating to pay for other expenses.

Scenarios Total monthly income Monthly rent* (may include heat/hydro) Food expenses** Funds remaining for other basic needs % of income required for rent % of income required to purchase healthy food
Family of Four, Ontario Works $2,245 $1,095 $978 $172 49% 44%
Family of Four, Full-time Minimum Wage $2,958 $1,095 $978 $885 37% 33%
Family of Four, Median Ontario Income $7,448 $1,095 $978 $5,375 15% 13%
Single Parent Household with Two Children, Ontario Works $2,034 $936 $740 $358 46% 36%
One Person Household, Ontario Works $780 $575 $328 $(123) 74% 42%
One Person Household, Ontario Disability Support Program $1,218 $808 $328 $82 66% 27%
One Person Household, Old Age Security/Guaranteed Income Supplement $1.574 $808 $238 $528 51% 15%

Values are rounded to the nearest dollar.

*Rental costs calculations are from the Rental Market Report: Ontario Highlights. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Fall 2016.

**Food expenses are based on the 2016 Nutritious Food Basket Data Results for the Porcupine Health Unit area which includes Household Size Adjustment Factors.