Public Health is directed by the Ministry of Health to monitor food affordability. This is achieved by conducting a survey of food costs in a sample of Hamilton grocery stores using a tool called the Ontario Nutritious Food Basket (ONFB). Food costing was conducted in Hamilton in May 2023.
Results from 2023 have been posted on the City of Hamilton’s web page, Monitoring Affordability in Hamilton: https://www.hamilton.ca/people-programs/public-health/healthy-eating/monitoring-food-affordability-hamilton.
To monitor food affordability, monthly costs of food plus the average cost of market rental housing in Hamilton are compared to incomes for eight individual and family scenarios. The family/individual income scenarios can be downloaded by clicking on this document: Household scenarios comparing income to monthly expenses in Hamilton.
The methodology used for surveying food costs in Hamilton in 2022 was repeated in 2023 and therefore results are comparable. The cost of the ONFB in Hamilton for a reference family of four (2 adults and 2 school-aged children) rose from $1031/month in 2022 to $1110/month in 2023, representing an increase of approximately 8%.
With the rising costs of food and rental prices, the HCLC will continue to, and encourages other individuals, organizations and stakeholders to empower our communities; especially those whose identities intersect with racial, gendered, sexual, disabled, and many other lines.