Demand has increased by 50% compared to a normal year, i.e. before the COVID-19 pandemic, he continues. According to Munger, this rise in hunger and food insecurity is linked to the consumer price index (CPI), which rose 8.1% year-on-year in June.
For months, food banks have been meeting the needs of a growing number
low-income workerscontinues Mr. Munger.
These are people who have a regular income from work and still cannot make ends meet.
And there is also work insurance:
We used to be able to do that with this check, but people can’t do that anymore, that’s what those on site tell us..
Finally, students also use it, as in Rimouski or La Pocatière, explains Mr. Munger.
” People are increasingly coming to food banks to supplement their purchases. Households are in dire need right now. »
But now the food banks themselves are struggling: Rising inflation is driving up their operating costs.
You can buy less groceries for the same dollar, and the cost of gas for the trucks that transport that groceries also goes up.says Martin Munger.
The labor shortage that is rampant in all sectors is not helping either.
To stay competitiveTafel have improved the working conditions of their employees.
But unlike companies, which can raise prices to make up for their losses, food banks can’t come up with anything.
We give foodargues Martin Munger.
It’s a loss we fully accept.
Companies, producers, processors and supermarkets also have to cope with the rising cost of living. Food donations to food banks are affected. They manage their supplies better, have fewer losses, and therefore donate less to charities, says Munger.
Monetary donations are more welcome than ever in this difficult context, he said.
They take everything we give them
Maggie Borowiec, director of philanthropic development at Moisson Montréal, also calls on the population for solidarity.
Because times are tough for this nonprofit that provides food to more than 300 nonprofits. Here, too, the demand is increasing:
[Les organismes] Take everything we give them, there’s nothing leftShe says.
The main task of these neighborhood organizations is not necessarily to meet the food needs, Ms. Borowiec explains. They deal with education, employment or the integration of immigrants. Her clientele is diverse: seniors, homeless people, young families, etc.
In the first quarter of 2021 (April-May-June), Moisson Montreal distributed just over 3.4 million kilograms of food. During the same period this year, the organization distributed about the same amount of food. But it is not sufficient as the demand is strong.
We have not been able to increase our donations to organizationslaments Ms. Borowiec.
To meet the demand, Moisson Montréal draws on its considerable reserves: its warehouses have 484 pallets full of products. But this pantry is not inexhaustible.
Moisson Montreal is asking major food suppliers to donate what they can.
Summer is a great time to give, says Maggie Borowiec, and it’s not just around the holidays! Our drivers are ready to pick up the food.
The call is also aimed at grocers. Your contribution accounts for just 17% of food donations to Moisson Montréal. But supermarkets are donating meat, valuable protein, to food-insecure households.
Borowiec. Les quantités ne sont peut-être pas énormes, mais elles sont importantes.”,”text”:”On demande aux supermarchés de faire congeler la viande qu’ils ont en surplus, dit MmeBorowiec. Les quantités ne sont peut-être pas énormes, mais elles sont importantes.”}}”>Supermarkets are being urged to freeze excess meat, Borowiec says. The amounts may not be huge, but they are significant.
Hunger, very present in the country
According to Hunger Count 2021, a study conducted by Food Banks Canada and published last June, food bank users are:
- children in a proportion of 33%;
- adults living alone with a share of 46%;
- 50% of recipients of social assistance or disability assistance measures.
Additionally, 23% of Canadians say they eat less than they should and 61% believe the cost of housing is the top reason for food insecurity in the country.
This summer is set to be the toughest ever for food banks in Canadapredicts Kirstin Beardsley, CEO of Food Banks Canada.
As of March 2021, Canadian food banks received over 1.3 million visits, up 20% from March 2019.
With information from Camille Ferensen