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									September 26, 2005
Rising food costs cause hardship

The average weekly cost of a nutritious food basket
for a family of four in Toronto has increased three
per cent since 2004 and 16.7 per cent since 1999,                $374,980 to restore previous funding cuts
Dr. David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health, is                  and to reflect the increased
reporting.                                                        cost of food
                                                                 $465,120 to reach 12,000 children in the 22
A Toronto Public Health survey of grocery stores                  neediest schools not
found the average weekly food cost for a family of                currently being served by the program
four is $124.62 a week ($539.60 a month). The                    $296,954 to expand the program to reach
survey was released today during a Board of Health                one in 20 youth in priority
meeting.                                                          neighbourhoods identified by low income,
                                                                  community safety, high youth density
"Increased food costs are a hardship for residents                and high rates of teen pregnancy.
on low or fixed incomes, especially when rental
housing and other essential costs are also
increasing," said Dr. McKeown. "For many people it
becomes very difficult to eat well, protect their health   Dr. McKeown said that these food programs are
and prevent disease."                                      about more than nutrition. "They also promote
                                                           community safety by providing structured and
Dr. McKeown will review the implications of the 16.7       supervised after-school activities for youth."
per cent hike for public health programs that provide
food to vulnerable populations, such as the Student        Media contact:
Nutrition Program. His report recommends a similar
review by other City programs that provide food to         Frank Giorno
children in day nurseries and to residents of homes        Toronto Public Health
for the aged and homeless shelters. Dr. McKeown            416-338-7974
also called for increased funding for an expanded
Student Nutrition Program in 2006 including:

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