The combination of high inflation and frozen social assistance rates is causing a food insecurity emergency for Hamilton residents living in deep poverty across the city. Inflation in Ontario has hit lowest income residents most intensely. Low income residents spend the largest proportions of their household budget on basic necessities of food, shelter, and transportation. Inflation has caused prices on these essentials to increase faster than the average inflation across all consumer prices. Average inflation in Ontario has increased prices by 13.4 per cent since 2018, but food and shelter have increased by 18.8 per cent and 18 per cent respectively, forcing many more Hamiltonians to skip meals and go hungry more often.
This information is contained in a new report, Inflation, Social Assistance, and Hunger in Hamilton.
Other important findings from these report include:
- Inflation is making the food emergency crisis in Hamilton even more dire. In 2018, 12% residents in Hamilton Centre riding accessed a food bank. Since then, inflation has increased food costs by 19%.
- Ontario social assistance rates have been frozen since 2018, forcing recipients in deep poverty and the daily struggles of survival. Gap to reach poverty line for Ontario social assistance recipients ranges from $801/month to $1,337/month.
To learn more about Inflation, Social Assistance, And Hunger In Hamilton, part of the ongoing Hamilton’s Social Landscape Report series, click here.