The cost of eating healthy in Algoma has risen 20 percent over the last five years, according to data compiled by Algoma Public Health.

That’s almost three times the rate of inflation, and it doesn’t include this year’s spike in food costs attributed to the low dollar and the resulting high cost of importing the 81 percent of fruits, vegetables and nuts that Canadians buy from other countries.

The Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health says that food banks and meal programs are an ineffective response to this food insecurity problem.

The group is pushing for a basic income guarantee and increased social assistance rates to reflect the actual costs of nutritious food and adequate housing as reported by the nutritious food basket program and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. rental income reports.