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Implications of a Basic Income Guarantee for Household Food Insecurity

The Northern Policy Institute (NPI) is an independent policy institute that works to identify policy opportunities to support the sustainable growth of Northern Ontario communities. The document, titled Implications of a basic income guarantee for household food insecurity, was created as part of the NPI's series exploring basic income guarantee as a policy option for addressing income-related health inequities. This paper supports the notion that food insecurity is centrally connected to inadequate and insecure incomes. 

Household food insecurity is an indicator of material hardship that extends beyond the issues of food access and skills. Food insecurity is a social determinant of health as well as a determinant of health care spending, with the probability of food insecurity increasing as household income decreases across the population. In this paper, basic income guarantee (BIG) is discussed in relation to affordable housing, food programs, improved wages, as well as BIG's potential to reduce the incidence and severity of household food insecurity. One of the report’s recommendations for addressing food insecurity is to develop a basic income policy strategy that can be applied to a variety of household compositions and locations.

Use this resource to:

  • facilitate discussion about basic income guarantee as a policy option to address food insecurity at the population level;
  • explore the differences between policy options to food insecurity and access and charity-based strategies;
  • support program development that shifts public health action towards income-based policy solutions to food insecurity; and
  • advocate for BIG.


Tarasuk, V. (2017). Implications of a basic income guarantee for household food insecurity. Northern Policy Institute: Thunder Bay, ON.

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Tags: Food security, Healthy public policy, Income inequality, Policy analysis, Socioeconomic status , Community Organization, Document

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