New StatCan data shows food insecurity worst among Nunavut single mothers
Nunavut’s food insecurity rate is more than four times the national average
New data from Statistics Canada shows that 57 per cent of people living in Nunavut are food insecure.
That’s the highest rate of food insecurity in the country and more than four times the national average of 12.7 per cent.
StatCan released the study on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Its data, from 2017-18, breaks down food security into four categories: food secure, marginally food insecure, moderately food insecure and severely food insecure.
In Nunavut, 23.7 per cent of homes are severely food insecure, according to StatCan.
That number more than doubles to 52.3 per cent for single-mother households with children under 18. In its analysis, StatCan says to use that number with caution because of the territory’s small sample size.
In the Northwest Territories, food insecurity is 21.7 per cent, while 17 per cent of the Yukon residents are food insecure.
In its survey of the population, StatCan asked a set of 18 questions about whether households with and without children were able to afford the food they needed in the last 12 months.
The levels of food security used in the survey are defined as:
1. Food secure: No indication of difficulty with income-related food access
2. Marginally food insecure: Exactly one indication of difficulty with income-related food access
3. Moderately food insecure: Indication of compromise in quality and/or quantity of food consumed
4. Severely food insecure: Indication of reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns
In a presentation at ArcticNet in 2010, the results from the 2007 Inuit health survey showed that 70 per cent of Nunavummiut were food insecure.
A study released by StatCan in 2015 showed over one-third, or around 37 per cent, of all Nunavut households suffered from food insecurity in 2011-12.
As well, a study published by the Circumpolar Health Journal in 2016 said Inuit in Nunavut are up to 11 times more likely to experience food insecurity than non-Inuit.
All of the data, however, points to the fact that Nunavut has the highest rate of food insecurity in the country.
No data from 2015-16, the last time StatCan released a report on food security, is available for Nunavut.