Ottawa, Ont. – According to Food Banks Canada’s annual HungerCount survey, the number of Canadians now relying on food banks is at a record high, having jumped 2.4 per cent in the past year.
HungerCount 2012 found that 882,000 people use food banks every month. Most shockingly, 38 per cent of those users are children. Other findings include the fact that 11 per cent of those using food banks each month are doing so for the first time, and that 21 per cent of households accessing food banks are supported by an old age or disability pension. In addition, one in five households using food banks has some income from current or past employment.
The report also makes recommendations to government on ways to reduce the number of people needing help from food banks. These include:
- Investing in affordable housing;
- Creating a federal Northern Food Security Innovation Fund; and
- Improving the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors.
The full HungerCount 2012 report can be found at www.foodbankscanada.ca