Nearly 57 per cent of Nunavut households suffer from some level of food insecurity, according to new Statistics Canada data released on Tuesday morning.
That’s an improvement from a Nunavut Food Security Coalition statement from several years ago, which identified 69 per cent of Nunavut homes as food insecure.
However, the disparity between Nunavut and the rest of the country remains substantial. By comparison, just under 13 per cent of households across Canada are considered food insecure and close to 22 per cent of neighbouring NWT households fall into that category.
In Nunavut, 23.7 per cent of homes are defined as severely food insecure, although that skyrockets to 52.3 per cent when mothers are living with their children with no spouse in the home — however, Statistics Canada warns to use the latter data with caution due to the relatively small sample size in the territory.
Another 25.7 per cent of Nunavut households are deemed moderately food insecure and 7.6 per cent are marginally food insecure.
According to the definitions used by Statistics Canada, severe food insecurity results in reduced food intake or a disrupted eating pattern. Moderate food insecurity brings on “a compromise in the quality or quantity of food consumed.” Marginal food insecurity exists when “there is a single indication of worry about running out of food and/or limited food selection due to a lack of money for food.”
The latest data came from The Household Food Security Survey in 2017-18, involving approximately 110,000 respondents nationwide, and are based on 18 food security questions asked of Canadian households.
Canadian Community Health Survey findings on food insecurity in 2017-18
Food secure: 43.1 per cent
Marginally food insecure: 7.6 per cent
Moderately food insecure: 25.7 per cent
Severely food insecure: 23.7 per cent
Food secure: 78.4 per cent
Marginally food insecure: 5.7 per cent
Moderately food insecure: 11 per cent
Severely food insecure: 5 per cent
Food secure: 87.3 per cent
Marginally food insecure: 4 per cent
Moderately food insecure: 5.7 per cent
Severely food insecure: 3 per cent
Source: Statistics Canada