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Un Québé 5 out of 3 children will have experienced food insecurity at least once in 2023

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Food insecurity is based on a range of issues about eating habits, from depriving yourself of balanced meals to not eating for an entire day due to lack of means. (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

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Quebecers are becoming increasingly poorer and at a worrying speed, if we rely on the portrait of food insecurity published Wednesday by the Léger firm.

Young people are massively affected by food insecurity, as are people on modest incomes, but we see that even the better off are starting to suffer from it.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The Léger survey tells us that nearly one in three Quebecers (32%) found themselves in a situation of food insecurity at least once in 2023, compared to just over one in five (22%) in 2020 This increase of 10 percentage points left pollsters speechless, we admitted when presenting these results at a virtual press conference.

The The proportion of people experiencing severe food insecurity almost doubled during this period, from 8% to 14%.

The food insecurity measure is based on a range of questions regarding eating habits, ranging from depriving yourself of balanced meals to not eating for an entire day due to lack of resources.

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Between the two, a series of elements related to lack of money for food were assessed, including: fear of running out of food; missing out on food, eating less, reducing portions or skipping meals; to be hungry without being able to eat or to have lost weight due to lack of means to eat.

The The proportions of respondents who answered occasionally, sometimes, often or constantly are increasing for each of these questions.

Almost half (48%) of 18-24 year olds occasionally find themselves in a situation of food insecurity, but no less than one in four would be in a situation of severe insecurity.

Unsurprisingly, the situation is even worse for low-income households — those with gross annual income below $40,000 — more than half of whom (52%) have experienced at least one food insecurity situation. Here too, a quarter of them find themselves in a situation of severe insecurity.

What is surprising, however, is that a share of households in all income brackets above $40,000 also experienced food insecurity.

Almost a quarter (23%) of households with a gross annual income of more than $100,000 report having experienced at least one situation of x27;food insecurity and 8% of them are in a situation of severe insecurity.

The fact of working therefore does not represent a shield against insecurity, since 38% of respondents with a job say they have suffered from it to varying degrees.

The survey was carried out online between November 10 and 12, 2023 with a sample of 1008 people representative of Quebec society. As a guide, the maximum margin of error for a probability sample of the same size is plus or minus 3%, 19 times out of 20.

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