Family of four will spend $16,297 on groceries next year: report

According to the national Food Price Report, groceries on average will cost Canadian families $16,297 in 2024 — up from $16,288.41 this year and $15,232.81 in 2022.

Family of four will spend $16,297 on groceries next year: report
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The average Canadian family of four will have to dig a little deeper next year to afford groceries, as the impact of food inflation continues to cripple household finances.

According to the national Food Price Report, groceries on average will cost Canadian families $16,297 in 2024 — up from $16,288.41 this year and $15,232.81 in 2022.

Canada's Food Price Report 2023 predicted a 5% to 7% food price increase in 2023 following 10% hikes last year. Vegetables, dairy and meat all became more expensive.

"In 2024 it is probable Canadians will continue to experience the strain of food inflation compounded by increasing costs of housing, energy and various other expenditures," the report read.

It forecast that price hikes by province would average 6.7% in Québec and Prince Edward Island next year, followed by New Brunswick (6.4%), Newfoundland and Labrador (6.3%), Nova Scotia (6.2%), British Columbia (5.9%), Manitoba (5.7%), Alberta and Ontario (5.5%) and Saskatchewan (5%).

Food costs are so high that fewer people than ever are following the Canada Food Guide for healthy eating, wrote Health Canada in a June 28 Evaluation Of The Office Of Nutrition Policy And Promotion. 

Only three in 10 Canadians are eating the minimum five daily servings of fresh fruit and vegetables, it said, with sharp price hikes since 2019 among all food groups.

"Not only are some nutritious foods more difficult to find, but they can also be more expensive," said Nutrition Policy And Promotion.

A kilo of cabbage rose 12% from $2.71 to $3.03 a head, while 500 grams of spaghetti rose a fifth from $2.92 to $3.51. The consumer costs for other notable food items like margarine, chicken and grapes rose between 11% to 34%.

Under the 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act the U.S. Department of Agriculture operates a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offering pre-loaded debit cards for the purchase of fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat products. A co-author for the 2024 report recommended Parliament enact a similar program for Canadians who can’t afford fresh fruit and vegetables, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

"Such a program could be meticulously targeted to provide essential grocery store assistance to those in dire need," said Sylvain Charlebois, director of Dalhousie’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab. 

"[…] it may be an opportune moment to consider launching a national nutrition coupon program fund specifically designed to support children and families who cannot generally afford healthy food," she added.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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