CLEAR is excited to share the results of the 2020-2021 Newfoundland and Labrador Food Pricing Project!
Through collaborative efforts between the Nunatsiavut Government, the Social Justice Co-operative NL, and CLEAR Lab at Memorial University, the Newfoundland and Labrador Food Pricing Project was developed in response to growing concerns about the cost of living in Newfoundland and Labrador. According to Proof Canada (2017), one in six households in the province experience food insecurity. This means that one in every six households in Newfoundland and Labrador worries about running out of food, limits their food selection due to lack of funds, compromises the quality and/or quantity of their food, or misses meals/reduces their food intake because of the cost or accessibility of food.
For over a year between 2020-2021, project volunteers collected information on the prices of foods in their communities, resulting in 4,698 data points! We then co-analyzed the data to answer questions that were important to communities. This was a community-based, collaborative effort—the project was designed to incorporate community knowledge and concerns at every step, from citizen scientist data collection to public meetings to interpret the data. Our final goal was to create a public dataset that others can use. We sincerely thank everyone who participated!
The final report and dataset can be found here: https://civiclaboratory.nl/nl-food-pricing-project/
What we found: As volunteers hypothesized, place matters. The average prices of food, how variable those prices are, and food availability were all closely tied to where people lived and shopped. Across the province, the prices of common foods and groceries are characterized by extreme variability, the difference between the highest and lowest cost of the same food items. Nain and Rigolet had both the highest average cost of food, highest variability and the highest count of missing food items (when a volunteer went to collect pricing data but the item was not on the shelf). The foods with the highest variability in pricing on our list are black tea, canned tuna, and cheddar cheese. The most stable prices are for fresh milk, fresh corn, Coca Cola (or Pepsi), and eggs. We invite you to read the full report here for more findings and to understand the context of the data.
For further information or communications:
Media Contact: Volunteer data collector Corinne Neil (email@example.com) & Project coordinator Max Liboiron (firstname.lastname@example.org)
General Inquiries: email@example.com, https://civiclaboratory.nl/
This project was a partnership between:
This project is funded by the Public Engagement Fund, Office of Public Engagement at Memorial University, by the Memorial Undergraduate Career Employment Program, the Smallwood Foundation, and by a Social Science and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant.