Canadians are facing food insecurity in swelling numbers. New stats from Food Banks Canada show an estimated seven million Canadians, or about one in five, are going hungry, with 23 per cent reporting they are eating less than they believe they should.
The pandemic, rising housing costs, inflation, soaring gas prices and supply chain slowdowns are just some of the reasons many no longer have enough money for food. Heading into the summer months, food banks and centres are preparing for one of the toughest periods in history.
“Food insecurity affects people in so many different areas,” says Jim O’Keeffe, manager of food services at Mission Services of Hamilton. “If somebody has food insecurity, they have life insecurity. If you can’t afford food, how are you affording a place to live, clothing, emergency things that come up for your kids, a car breaking down, medications…. It’s a much wider, problematic area than just being insecure about food. And it’s been on the rise for years.”