Food basket cost increases by 11%

The Welling­ton-Dufferin-Guelph Board of Health held its meet Nov 4. 

Board reports included an update on the cost of eating in Wellington and Dufferin Coun­ties.  The weekly cost of a food basket to feed a family of four in the region is $167.02.

The method used to meas­ure that cost improved in 2009. The result was an 11% increase in the cost of food. The in­crease represents the improved quality of food products to re­flect current nutrient recom­mendations.

WDG Public Health dieti­tians collected local data in May. The cost of the food bas­ket was calculated by visiting seven grocery stores in Well­ington and Dufferin Counties and checking 67 specific food items. The food costs were then averaged. 

The surveyed food included a variety of choices from the four food groups in Canada’s Food Guide: breads, cereals and other grain products; milk, cheese and other milk products; vegetables and fruit; and meat and alternates, such as beans.

Items with little nutritional value, such as soft drinks, pota­to chips and sugary cereals, were not included in the survey. The basket also did not include other items frequently bought at the grocery store such as laundry detergent, soap, tooth­paste, or toilet paper.

Public Health dietitian, Jane Bellman said, “Knowing how to buy and prepare healthy food  is essential for normal growth and development, and to pre­vent disease. The survey results reinforce the need to assess the adequacy of social assistance in the province, as well as in­crease the support of local initi­atives to assist [those] with limited incomes.”

Locally, Public Health dietitians and community food advisors help consumers de­vel­op the knowledge and skills to select, purchase, and prepare healthy and safe food on limited budgets.

For more information or to get a copy of The Cost of Eating in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, call WDG Public Health at 1-800-265-7293, or visit