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Food prices incredibly high in Canada's Far North

Staff writer |
Food prices in Canada's Far North are exceptionally high, with a bunch of grapes, for example, costing between $26-28.

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By contrast, in downtown Toronto, some 1,900 miles due south, grapes can be found for as low as $4 to $5 a bunch.

Food has never been cheap in northern Canadian communities like Clyde River, where perishables like fruits and vegetables need to be flown in, but lately things are getting worse, Vice News reports.

The latest price hike appears to be partly due to the drooping loonie and poor quality of produce from the frost and drought-struck southern US, where some Canadian produce comes from in the winter.

A study released by the University of Toronto funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research confirms the problem is getting worse.

"Food insecurity was most prevalent in Canada's North, especially Nunavut, and the Maritimes in 2014. In Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, the prevalence rose to the highest levels observed since monitoring began in 2005 — 46.8 percent and 24.1 percent [of the population] respectively."

In Nunavut in 2013 and 2014, the study found, 60 percent of children lived in "food insecure households" — a definition that ranges from homes where people are worried about running out of food to those where they go days without food.

The numbers are so bad that the study's authors say they "suggest a state of emergency" that demands atten The study's lead author called for concerted policy action.

"We've seen no substantiated decrease in rates across the country over the past couple of years, despite poverty reduction strategies in many provinces," the study's lead author Valerie Tarasuk said in a press release, according to CBC.


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