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1 in 4 Canadians worry income won’t cover basic needs: poll

By Brad Perry Dec 19, 2023 | 5:00 AM

New research from The Salvation Army finds Canadians are struggling to meet their basic needs.

The report finds one-in-four Canadians fear they do not have enough income to cover their basic needs.

One in five say they have skipped or reduced the size of at least one meal because they cannot afford groceries.

Single parents, caregivers and single-person households are facing the most pressure, according to the report, which demonstrates how these struggles are not felt equally by all Canadians.

“The figures from our research are troubling and show that Canadians are struggling in every corner of this country and they are worried about their families’ futures, with nearly 60% of Canadians extremely concerned about the rising cost of living and inflation,” Lt.-Col. John Murray, Salvation Army Canada territorial secretary for communications, said in a news release.

“The situation is dire for single parent families where parents are going without food to make ends meet.”

The Salvation Army said more people are turning to the organization for support in order to help make ends meet.

While the organization offers assistance across a broad range of services, most supports provided in 2023 were related to food assistance and meal programs.

“The general lack of affordability is having a toll on the emotional, mental and physical well-being of our communities,” said Murray.

Nearly one-third of Canadians say they are concerned about their personal finances for the next two years.

Over two in five say they are struggling with mental health while nearly one-third report struggling with their physical health.

The report finds that Canadians are hoping to see financial pressures ease somewhat over the next six months, but they are still expecting food security, limited financial resources, health issues and housing insecurity to persist.