Government of Canada bolsters support for healthy eating among low-income households in Newfoundland and Labrador

News release

Reducing the risk for chronic diseases while addressing health inequalities among priority populations

May 26, 2022 | St. John's, N.L | Public Health Agency of Canada

Healthy eating and daily physical activity play an important role in the health, well-being, and quality of life of Canadians. In recent years, the rate of fruit and vegetable consumption among youth has been decreasing; mirrored by a downward trend in physical activity and increasing obesity rates. In addition, many people in Canada have reduced access to nutritious foods which puts them at an elevated risk of developing a chronic disease.

Today, Joanne Thompson, Member of Parliament for St. John's East, Newfoundland and Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced an investment of more than $430,000 to fund a project that will focus on improving healthy eating among low-income households in eight communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Taking place in rural, urban, and Indigenous communities, the project, Great Things in Store: Retail Partnerships for Better Food Access led by Food First NL, will design targeted community-informed interventions in the retail sector to address unhealthy eating.

Food First NL will engage with approximately 500 individuals with low incomes and will use innovative and integrated approaches to promote healthy living and address the common risk factors for chronic disease.


"Healthy eating is crucial for one's overall wellbeing. As Canada continues to face increasingly complex health challenges, including chronic disease, we are committed to improving healthy eating for everyone across the country. Today's funding will encourage healthy living behaviours for individuals with low incomes to improve their access to healthier eating and physical activity."

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

"As food bills rise, a significant portion Canadians need to change their grocery purchases in order to save money. In Canada, one-third (35%) of the population is reportedly buying less meat while one in five (21%) report buying less fresh fruits and vegetables. This trend is even more pronounced in lowest income households. Through today's funding announcement, we are supporting community-based initiatives that aim to help Canadians find ways to incorporate healthier foods into their diet."

Joanne Thompson
Member of Parliament for St. John's East, Newfoundland and Labrador

"We know that most people get most of their food from retailers. They are a vital part of our food system and have a huge role to play as partners in improving food access for low-income Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. This project will provide the time and the space to build relationships and make plans with retailers and the communities they are such vital parts of."

Josh Smee,
CEO, Food First NL

Quick Facts

  • Research shows that 44% of adults in Canada live with at least one chronic disease, such as heart disease, hypertension, cancer, or diabetes.
  • Funding announced today is being distributed through the Public Health Agency of Canada's Healthy Canadians and Communities Fund (HCCF) which supports projects that aim to lower Canadians' risk of chronic disease by tackling common modifiable risk factors, namely unhealthy eating, smoking, and physical inactivity.
  • Food First NL is a provincial, non-profit organization that works with communities in Newfoundland & Labrador to ensure everyone has access to affordable, healthy, and culturally appropriate food.
  • Food security exists when all people at all times have physical and economic access to adequate amounts of nutritious, safe, and culturally appropriate food to maintain a healthy and active life.

Associated Links

Healthy Canadians and Communities Fund
Food Security


Marie-France Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Inquiries


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