Increased demand for food assistance, along with increased user numbers during the holiday season, put pressure on Canadian food banks in December. The directors of two food banks said this.
Food Bank Alberta is a network of over 100 local organizations across the province. Shana Bissell, executive director of the organization, said Christmas is always a busy time for our food bank. Moreover, regular demand was also high throughout December, which increased the pressure on food banks.
Organizations predict an increase in the number of food bank users by 2023. National Network Food Banks Canada recorded 1935,911 visits in March, which was 32.1 percent higher than March 2022 and 78.5 percent higher than March 2019.
Visits in Ontario increased 36 percent from April 2022 to March 2023 to 5,888,685. That’s according to a November report by Feed Ontario.
Bissell said demand on his network is so high that it’s nearly impossible to build up a stockpile of bass. As soon as the food arrives, it has to be distributed among the needy people. Every year we are feeding more and more people.
Martin Munger, executive director of Food Banks of Quebec, said his organization will distribute twice as many aid packages in 2023 as it did in 2019. They have distributed lakhs of food baskets only on the occasion of Christmas. Now the food reserves are very low. Demand was high throughout the year. Demand this holiday season was also higher than previous years.
Despite this, Bissell and Munger are optimistic that they will be able to raise enough funds and donations to meet the demand without turning people away. However, Munger believes that the government can implement sustainable solutions so that people can procure their own food instead of relying on food banks. Quebec’s food banks currently feed one in ten Quebecers.