Alberta leads the country with increased food bank use.
EDMONTON, AB – Food bank usage was up marginally across Canada this year, but the picture in Alberta was a stark contrast, with an increase of more than 23% over 2014. According to national HungerCount statistics released today in Ottawa, Alberta experienced the highest jump nationally with a record 67,443 people accessing a food bank during the month of March. The national increase in food bank use was just 1.3%.
It has now been seven years since food bank use in this province reached a low point of 33,837 individuals in March 2008. The need for food banks spiked drastically in 2009 and has hovered at record levels ever since.
Edmonton’s Food Bank provides food to over 210 agencies, churches and food depots. Since September 2014, Edmonton’s Food Bank has experienced increased numbers of people turning to us for services. Concerning hamper recipients, 17,722 people were served October 2015. This number is an increase of 37% since October 2012. Comparing October 2014 to October 2015, we have seen an increased of 21.5%.
Key facts from HungerCount 2015:
· Food bank usage in Alberta was up 23% over last year – the highest jump in the country.
· Food banks in Alberta helped 67,443 people in March 2015.
· 75% of the food banks in Alberta reported an increase in demand for services.
· Who is being helped by food banks in Alberta hasn’t changed that much since last year – 40% are children, nearly 60% are families and 33% of those households were single parent families.
· 30% of food bank clients were working – virtually unchanged since last year.
· 852,137 people received food from a food bank in Canada. More than 1/3 were children.
· Food Banks Canada collects data from 3,000 food-related organizations across Canada each year and compiles the annual HungerCount report.
The HungerCount 2015 report provides recommendations to federal and provincial governments that, if implemented, will make significant progress in reducing the number of people who need help from food banks.
To read more about the findings and recommendations in the report, go to www.foodbankscanada.ca/hungercount2015