2. Poverty
  3. Food Security
  4. Hunger


LICO or the Low Income Cut-off measure is determined by Statistics Canada.  LICO is the point where the portion of income spent on food, clothing and shelter is 20 percentage points more than average.


Poverty is the state of being without: resources, food, shelter, or any of the basic necessities of life.  In economic terms, there are two kinds of poverty: absolute and relative.  Absolute poverty is a defined standard that has been agreed upon by experts and many countries.  For many, absolute poverty also has two major classifications.  There is extreme poverty, where an individual lives on less than one dollar a day, and there is moderate poverty, where an individual lives on between one and two dollars a day.   Relative poverty is dependent on the country or region, as well as the social context.  As a statistical definition of relative poverty in Ontario, the Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) generally uses the commonly recognized Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) standard.  Another common measure of poverty is “economic distance” from median household income.  For the OECD, this level is set at 50 or 60 per cent of median household income.

Food Security

According to the UN, food security, “exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutrious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”


Hunger is the result of food deprivation, often due to the impact of poverty on an individual or population.  The impacts of hunger are devastating: poor health, lack of concentration, lower educational attainment, and other social problems.  Hunger is a problem for Ontarians, as thousands go hungry every day