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It Has Become Scarily Expensive To Feed A Montreal Household, A Report Shows

It's 15% more expensive to feed a family this year.

Vendors handing a bag of food at Jean-Talon market.

Vendors handing a bag of food at Jean-Talon market.

Canadian groceries are getting more expensive, and Quebecers are feeling the pinch. But just how hard is it to feed a family right now, and how much are Quebecers spending on their food? A recent study released by a community organization, the Montreal Diet Dispensary, has a few answers.

The study relies on a tool called the Nutritious and Affordable Food Basket (NAFB), which estimates the minimum price of a diet that meets basic nutritional guidelines. Since last year, the NAFB grew in cost by 15%.

"This is a significant change in the cost of food, which shows that an increasing number of low-income households risk being food insecure," researcher François Fournier wrote in a press release.

Grain staples are among the hardest-hit products in terms of price increases. The cost of pasta rose by an astonishing 116% over the last year, while white flour rose by an even worse 225%.

Other key necessities like baby formula also saw significant price hikes. Formula increased in cost by 40%, while baby cereals increased by 36%.

The total spent in a year to feed an average family of four (a man, a woman, a teen boy and a pre-teen girl, per the study) was nearly $13,000 annually, with the total adding up to $8.90 per person, per day.

These increases are undoubtedly taking a toll on Quebec families, especially low-income households. But Fournier emphasized that food prices "are only a piece of the food insecurity puzzle."

"The food price disparity that continues to exist in the Montreal region, households' lack of financial resources and affordable housing, and the issues surrounding limited accessibility to nutritional foods are all aspects to consider to address the situation," Fournier said.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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