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More people seeking help from food banks amid higher grocery prices

By Skye Bryden-Blom Oct 27, 2022 | 10:53 AM


A new report has found higher grocery prices are driving more of us to seek help from food banks.

Feed Nova Scotia says the national study, “Food Banks Canada’s HungerCount,” shows a 14 percent increase in food bank visits in our province in March 2022 compared to March 2021.

Thirty percent of people reported they were seeking help due to the cost of food compared with 14 percent in 2021.

“This isn’t surprising at all,” says Executive Director Nick Jennery in a news release. “Multiple factors are pushing more people into crisis—the lack of affordable housing, the cost of food, increased inflation, and now the impacts of Hurricane Fiona.”

The report found there were nearly 1.5 million visits to food banks in Canada, the highest March usage on record even though unemployment rates were at their lowest on record.

Feed Nova Scotia is calling on the government to make permanent policy changes to address food insecurity.

“Nova Scotians need more income to meet their basic needs,” says Jennery. “And that’s going to only come from policy-based, government intervention.”

The changes they’re calling for include increased income support, investment in affordable housing, and reduced out-of-pocket expenses on prescription drugs.

A recent public opinion survey conducted by Feed Nova Scotia has found that 88 percent of people polled agreed food insecurity is an issue related to income.

Eighty-two percent agreed government income support should be increased and 90 percent said the current minimum wage is inadequate.

“People need more money in their pockets,” says Jennery. “No one should have to rely on charity to meet their basic needs.”


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