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Many North Bay residents struggling to buy food, report says

The new report, called ‘The Cost of Eating Well’ shows in that in 2022 it costed more than $1,100 a month for the average family to eat properly.

The report by North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit suggests that in North Bay, local residents are struggling.

The average cost of healthy food for a family of four is $1,125 per month, according to the report.

"Everyone feels the pinch of rising food costs but it's really low income house holds that can't afford to pay the difference," said Erin Reyce, a dietitian with the health unit.

"We wanted to draw attention to people who are receiving social assistance in Ontario because their financial situation is so dire."

Debbie Marson is the excecutive director for the North Bay Food Bank and she agrees, telling CTV News that the food bank continues to see more and more people.

"When you're on ODSP and you're bringing in just over $1,200 a month and it costs $1,100 to feed, you have nothing left," said Marson.

"When people have to make hard choices about where their financial means are going, they're always going to go to a roof over their head to stay in their houses, so that really affects their will to buy good food that keeps them healthy."

Officials with the health unit warn for those struggling with food insecurity, it can lead to other issues.

"We know that food insecure households pay less for the other costs of living, including rent and transportation then food secure households, so although we're talking about food it's very much lack of income being the root of the problem," said Reyce.

Based on the findings in this report, Reyce the health unit is asking for the province to increase social assistance rates and wants income based policy solutions to address food insecurity.

The full report can be found here. Top Stories

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