A new report by researchers at the University of Toronto shows that almost four million Canadians are struggling to put the food they need on the table because of food insecurity.

“The impact of this situation on children, families, communities, the health care system and our economy cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Valerie Tarasuk, a nutritional sciences professor at U of T’s Faculty of Medicine and principal investigator for PROOF, an international team of researchers committed to the reduction of household food insecurity.

The report was prepared by PROOF, a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded research program initiated to identify effective policy interventions to address household food insecurity. The project was led by Dr. Tarasuk, who said the findings should be a wakeup call for government.

“The problem is not under control and more effective responses are urgently needed,” Tarasuk said. “The cost of inaction is simply too high.”