In 2017, Proof Canada estimated that one in six households in Newfoundland and Labrador are food insecure. This means that a household is either worried about running out of food or limiting their selection due to lack of funds, are compromising the quality and/or quantity of food, or missing meals and reducing their food intake. This can have significant impacts on a household’s physical and mental health and well-being.
High food prices can exasperate food insecurity, making it more expensive to buy nutritionally complete meals and feed one’s family. Despite differences in food costs, programs like social assistance do not take into account the varying cost of living across distinct regions in the province. High cost of shipping and difficulty of growing food in the North is contributing to extremely high food costs in the northern regions of our provinces. This high food cost is supposed to be subsidized by programs like Nutrition North, but these subsidies do not go far enough to make food prices comparable to those in the South.
To better understand the cost of key food items across our province, the CLEAR Lab at Memorial University, the Social Justice Co-operative NL, and the Nunatsiavut Government are collaborating on a citizen science survey project to collect data on food prices. This data will be used to create both ground-level data and insights into regional food pricing as well as province-wide information for policy and advocacy.
To participate in the project, you can simply start collecting data in your local food store! You can submit data by using a paper form and sending us a copy, or use a Google form with your phone or tablet. Instructions are on both the paper and online forms. The coordinator contact for this project is being hired soon– please check back soon for details.
Access the online Google form here.
When data has been collected, we will post it here. If you have any questions, please email foodpricesNL@gmail.com.