Great news, the 2015 Food Costing in BC report is released!! You can find the full report, the executive summary and other relevant information on the food security page the PHSA Population and Public Health website at www.phsa.ca/populationhealth
I want to thank all of the health authority staff who coordinated, organized and participated in the largest food costing year to date. Close to 200 grocery stores were costed across the health authorities so that we could collect more local level data. This year food costs are provided at the provincial, regional health authority and Health Service Delivery Area (HSDA) levels.
Here is a brief summary of the 2015 food costing report:
- In May and June 2015, the PHSA and RHAs collected pricing information for 67 food items in nearly 200 grocery stores across BC to determine the cost of a nutritionally adequate, balanced diet.
- The average monthly cost of a nutritious food basket (NFB) for a reference family of four in British Columbia in 2015 is $974, which shows a cost increase of $60/month since 2013.
- The cost of a healthy diet can affect individuals and families of all incomes but can have the highest impact among households with the lowest incomes. These are also the households that are most food insecure and face numerous health and social challenges.
- The food costing process expanded in 2015 to gather more local-level data and now includes data at both the RHA and Health Service Delivery Area (HSDA) levels. This information will better support the health authorities with their population health planning.
As many of you know, PHSA PPH conducted an evaluation of the 2015 food costing process in the summer and fall of 2015. The findings from the evaluation are almost complete and will be shared in late March or early April. We are also conducting a short survey and a few key informant interviews about dissemination.
Dietitians of Canada
Some of you are asking whether DC is engaging in food costing this year. Dietitians of Canada (BC) has let us know that they are reviewing the report, preparing a comparison of the 2015 BC food costing with current social assistance rates and seeing how this aligns with national policy directions http://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Public/Food-Insecurity_one-pager_Eng.aspx They will be communicating further with their members.
Thank you for your continued commitment and support. Let’s keep the conversation going about how to best share and use the food costing information.
Melanie Kurrein, MA, RD