The 2023 Hunger Report has been released and shows an increase in visits to the food bank across Canada this year. The report says that over two million Canadians went to a food bank just in March alone. It also showed a 78.5% increase in food bank visits since 2019 and a 32.1% increase from just last year.
It’s no surprise that these increases have affected food banks in Saskatchewan. In pervious years a major reason people resorted to visiting the food bank was because of unemployment, but in recent years key reasons for visits are high costs of living and inflation.
The Prince Albert Food Bank has seen an increase of a little over 20% in food bank visitors this year.
“We actually set a record in August of 1290 hampers, and when I started here about 6 years ago our average month was between 700 and 750,” said Executive Director of the Prince Albert Food Band, Kim Scruby.
The Prince Albert Food Bank is getting a lot of support from the community with volunteers and donations but expects Christmas time to be quite a bit busier.
In recent years not only have families been struggling to afford groceries but now pet food is a hot commodity at food banks.
“I’m not sure that we’re going to see any real end in sight to this until inflationary numbers get back down to about the two percent range,” explained Scruby.
The Prince Albert Food Bank has a Christmas food drive planned for November 30 at Save-On-Foods in Prince Albert from 10am until 6pm. The food bank is looking for any non-perishable items and pet food. You can also drop items off at the food bank or donate on their website.