The cost of food is rising, making it harder for the region’s most vulnerable to access healthy food options.

According to a new report, released at the region’s community services meeting last week, the cost of the Nutritious Food Basket in the region for a family of four increased more than five per cent last year. It outpaced inflation by five times. The total cost is now almost $195 a week.

In the last five years, the food basket, which is a surveillance tool used by the region to look at food security, increased 13.5 per cent.