The head of a national anti-hunger group hopes P.E.I.'s federal cabinet minister will work to ensure all Canadians can afford to eat healthy food despite rising costs.

Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay, who is also the federal agriculture minister, has been given a mandate to develop a national food policy.

'There's no reason to have hungry people in this country.' – Diana Bronson, Food Secure Canada

Diana Bronson, executive director of Food Secure Canada, is looking to the minister to create a sustainable, safe, and affordable food system.

"I think every Canadian can write a letter to their MP, and particularly to Lawrence MacAulay for those of you in Prince Edward Island, and say, 'We want to see action,'" she said.

"We should have as a central goal of Canada's new food policy zero hunger. There's no reason to have hungry people in this country. We're at the very beginning of that process — we've got a brand new government, we have a great opportunity to get out in front of this issue."

Bronson credits the work being done to improve food security on P.E.I. by organizations like the National Farmers Union, the Cooper Institute and the P.E.I. Food Security Network.

The dropping dollar is expected to continue to impact food prices, especially when it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables.

Last year, fruits and veggies jumped in price between 9.1 and 10.1 per cent, according to an annual report by the Food Institute at the University of Guelph. The study predicts those foods will continue to increase above inflation this year, by up to 4.5 per cent for some items.

With files from The Canadian Press