Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Healthy Eating Healthy Weights

Household Food Insecurity

Key Messages
Overall
By Geographic Area
By Family Type
By Deprivation
Technical Notes

Key Messages

  • One-in-eight households in Simcoe Muskoka experienced some level of food insecurity in 2017-2018. This was not different from the overall provincial experience during the same time.
  • Lone parent families experienced the highest rates of food insecurity, approximately three-times higher than what was experienced by couple families with children.
  • Approximately one-in-five households living in areas with the highest level of deprivation, as measured by the (2016 Ontario Marginalized Index), experienced some level of food insecurity. Compared with one-in-twenty households living in areas with the lowest level of deprivation.

Overall

According to the most recent CCHS data currently available at the public health unit level, from 2017-2018, 13% (10.3%, 16.7%) of Simcoe Muskoka households said they had experienced some level of food insecurity at least once in the past 12 months. This is the same as the 13% (12.5%, 14.0%) of Ontario households that reported some level of food insecurity during this same time frame.

141127ModerateSevereFoodInsecurityIncomechart

By Geographic Area

There were approximately 26,000 households in Simcoe County and 2,700 households in Muskoka District that experienced some level of food insecurity in 2017-2018. The percentage of households experiencing food insecurity was not significantly different in Simcoe County when compared with Muskoka during that time.

By Family Type

Food insecurity is highest among lone parent families in Simcoe Muskoka, with 37% (26.7%, 47.5%) reporting marginal, moderate or severe food insecurity during the CCHS survey period from 2017 to 2018. Food insecurity among lone parent families is significantly higher than all other types of families, including three-times higher when compared with couple families with children (12% (7.8%, 18.6%)).

151002FoodSecbyFamilyBAR

By Deprivation

Food insecurity in Simcoe Muskoka increases significantly among households with greater levels of material deprivation (as measured by the 2016 Ontario Marginalized Index). In 2017-2018, approximately one-in-five households living in areas with the highest levels of deprivation experienced some food insecurity. This drops to approximately one-in-twenty households in areas with the lowest levels of deprivation.

220114_HHFIbyDepriv_BAR

Technical Notes

Household food insecurity (HHFI) can be defined in several ways and can be estimated using a variety of data sources. The Canadian Income Survey (CIS) has been adopted as the primary source for reporting HHFI at the national and provincial level. Most public health units (PHUs), including the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, are unable to report estimates of HHFI using the CIS. The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), is the primary source for reporting HHFI at the PHU level.

PROOF Food Insecurity Policy Research is an interdisciplinary research program studying effective policy approaches to reduce household food insecurity (HHFI) in Canada. PROOF defines HHFI as the inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints. The main measure of HHFI reported by PROOF is “some level” of HHFI that includes marginal, moderate, or severe classifications of HHFI. Marginal HHFI captures concepts like “worrying about running out of food and/or limiting food selection because of lack of money for food.”

For more information about efforts underway to reduce HHFI in Simcoe Muskoka please visit https://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/centsless. Also see the Nutritious Food Basket page.

Page last updated November 16, 2022