In the first two months of the pandemic, food insecurity rates increased by 39 per cent, effectively impacting one in seven people. COVID-19 has triggered income shocks that are leaving people in financially precarious situations and at high risk of becoming food insecure or more severely food insecure. This is a serious public health crisis.

Food insecurity takes a steep toll on physical, mental and social health, increasing chronic illness while decreasing lifespan. Severe food insecurity, which equates to reduced food intake, missing of meals and going day(s) without food, makes one more vulnerable to a wide range of conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and back problems. These added pressures on the health-care system are preventable. We just need to ensure that everyone has sufficient income to purchase their own food.