Survey shows more Canadians utilizing food banks
October 30, 2012
A new survey released by Food Banks Canada found that more Canadians are making their way to food banks. The HungerCount 2012 study showed that food bank usage increased by 2.4 percent this year and is now 31 percent higher than what it was prior to the 2008 and 2009 recession.
The report shows that in just one month, food banks give food to about 882,000 individuals, and more than 339,000 (38 percent) are children. Also, 11 percent of those receiving food each month are doing so for the first time and one out of five households using food banks do have income from current or recent employers. In addition, 21 percent of homes using the food banks are living on an old age or disability pension.
"It is shocking that, in a country as prosperous as Canada, hundreds of thousands of children rely on food banks to have enough to eat each month," said Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director of Food Banks Canada. "Though food banks do what they can to fill the need, too many kids are still going to school on empty stomachs. Hunger saps you physically and emotionally, particularly if you don't know where your next meal is coming from. It has negative long-term health impacts, and prevents Canadians from contributing to their full potential."
The report also issued a few recommendations for the federal and provincial government including investing in affordable housing, creating a federal Northern Food Security Innovation Fund and improving the guaranteed income supplement.
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