A new Statistics Canada study says in 2022, 18 per cent of Canadian families reported experiencing food insecurity in the previous 12 months, which is up from 16 per cent in 2021.
The study, called “Food Insecurity Among Canadian Families,” found 19.7 per cent of families in Saskatchewan experience food insecurity — sixth-highest among provinces — in 2021.
Regina Food Bank CEO John Bailey said those numbers don’t come as a surprise based on what they see every day at the food bank.
“We’re up about 40 per cent over what we were last year,” Bailey said. “So, quite significant growth in the number of people access to our services.”
Bailey said there’s a huge combination of factors that lead to folks being food insecure, such as unemployment and the costs of living.
“We all experience our trips to the grocery store costing significantly more than they did this time last year,” Bailey said. “If you’re sort of on the precipice of food insecurity or pinching poverty, those impacts are even more strongly felt than they were than they would be for other households.”
Bailey said heading into the holiday season, they are expecting the numbers to increase. They are hoping to meet their wish list.
“Donations of cash are really significant for us. We can turn $1 into three meals and as we look at doing some significant purchasing for Hampers of Hope, donations of cash are really important,” he said. “If folks are looking … to see their way through the donated food, cans (and) shelf stuff is always really important.”
If people wish to donate to the Regina Food Bank, they can go to the Donate Now page on the community-based organization’s website.
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