New Study Shows Canada Child Benefit Provides Additional Benefit for Food Security

Posted on November 20, 2019
By Justin Williams

A new study in the Journal of Preventive Medicine from the Universitychild eating strawberries of Toronto finds that, since the introduction of the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), there is a 1/3 reduction in severe food insecurity for low-income families.

The researchers, Erika M. Brown and Valerie Tarasuk, looked at households with children, following the CCB roll-out. They also looked at the Canadian Community Health Survey for three samples, households reporting any income, households reporting the median income or less, and households reporting the low-income measure or less. Food insecurity was linked to economic vulnerability and was higher among families with children. Positively, these groups experienced the greatest drops in the likelihood to experience food insecurity after the introduction of the CCB.

This study reinforces some important policy lessons:

  • CCB has supported a 1/3 reduction in severe food insecurity for low-income families
  • Modest changes to income can impact food security
  • If Individuals with low-income receive more money, they spend it on basic necessities like food
  • Income transfers help people meet their basic needs

CCB's impact on food security is important because food insecurity increases healthcare costs. It is also linked to developmental impairment, mental health conditions, and physical problems.

If we address food insecurity for children and families, we will give individuals a path out of poverty and reduce costs in other areas.

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Justin Williams

By Justin Williams

Justin is the Managing Assistant with Tamarack’s Vibrant Communities team. Before joining Tamarack, he worked in higher-education and student advocacy managing research and political affairs teams. Justin is passionate about the role of governance processes in promoting community, sustainability and poverty reduction.

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