PEI

Food insecurity for Islanders on social assistance going down, report suggests

P.E.I. is “heading in the right direction” when it comes to reducing food insecurity, research suggests.

P.E.I. has lowest percentage of households on social assistance who are struggling to get a healthy diet

The majority of Islanders living in food insecure households are people on salaries and wages, research suggests. (Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley)

P.E.I. is "heading in the right direction" when it comes to reducing food insecurity for people on social assistance, research suggests.

Data from 2015-16 on rates of food insecurity in Canada show P.E.I. has the lowest percentage of households on social assistance in the country — at just over 54 per cent — who are struggling to get a healthy diet.

By comparison, in Nova Scotia almost three-quarters of the food insecure households are on social assistance. 

Valerie Tarasuk, a professor in the department of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto whose research group published the data, said there is still plenty of work to be done.

Not opening the champagne yet

"It still isn't good news to say that one in two people who are in the income support program of last resort are certain to put food on the table so it's not like we should be cracking open the champagne bottles yet," Tarasuk said.

"But relative to others we want to see these numbers keep creeping down and relative to other provinces right now Prince Edward Island is heading in the right direction."

However, Tarasuk says the majority of Islanders living in food insecure households — at 61 per cent — are led by people on salaries and wages, which is a concern, pointing possibly to low wages.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Laura Chapin

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