Percentage of students at five Canadian campuses who have experienced moderate or severe food insecurity in the last 12 months
Increase in the cost of fresh vegetables in Ontario in 2017
Expected increase in annual food costs for a family of four in 2018
Food insecurity refers to having inadequate access to sufficient food due to financial constraints.
- This impacts nearly 4 million Canadians each year.
- Canadian students are at risk of experiencing food insecurity while attending post-secondary education due to a lack of money for food.
- Food insecurity is a serious problem that undermines a student’s academic success. This issue is further reinforced when considering that food offered on campus often does not meet the dietary needs of all students (e.g. not halal or kosher, limited or no vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options).
Food insecurity is connected to poor mental and physical health.
Students who experience food insecurity are more likely than their food-secure counterparts to reduce their schooling to part-time, or drop out of school altogether.
Students across the province feel that tuition fees and the cost of living are the biggest barriers to being able to afford the healthy food they need. In collaboration with Meal Exchange, the Federation works to tackle food insecurity in Canada by empowering students to work with peers and stakeholders to drive this change across the country. Meal Exchange recently released a report on campus food insecurity, which can be found here.
Our goal is to work towards a national food system, supported by provincial funds, that allows students to be able to afford the food they need for a healthy lifestyle. Students should not have to choose between paying rent, buying textbooks and going hungry.
To reach this goal, students are demanding that political parties commit to:
- Pressuring institutions to create emergency funds for students experiencing food insecurity.
- Standardizing that institutions offer sustainable foods that meet cultural, religious or general dietary needs.
- Directing funding and support to local and campus food banks.
- Reducing and eliminating tuition fees.