As inflation wreaks havoc on the cost of living, Food Banks Canada CEO Kirstin Beardsley says this may be the worst summer Canada’s food banks have ever seen.

According to the Canadian Press, Beardsley says inflation has caused a strain on their network.

“You’ve got more people coming through the doors because they aren’t able to put food on the table for their families, you’ve got fewer people in the community who are in a position to give — they might not need a food bank but their budgets are stretched,” says Beardsley. 

According to Beardsley, the number of first-time users has risen significantly in recent months. 

Canada’s consumer price inflation in June rose to 8.1% – the largest yearly change since January 1983.

Historically-high inflation rates have increased the cost of goods and services across Canada.

According to Statistics Canada, the cost of basic accommodations jumped by nearly 50% across Canada when compared to last year. Air travel also saw a 6.4% increase in prices. 

Heavily impacted food items include onions which jumped by 25% in June, prices of carrots also spiked by 23% while canned beans went up by 20%.

Meats like chicken breast and ground beef spiked by 20% and 10% respectively. 1kg of chicken breast costs $15.04 on average while 1kg of ground beef goes for $10.32.

The governor of the Bank of Canada Tiff Macklem warned Canadians to brace for further economic stress this winter and further skyrocketing prices.

In June, Food Banks Canada reported approximately seven million Canadians went hungry at least once between March 2020 and March 2022. As inflation continues to rise, the situation will likely become more dire. 

Food Banks Canada is appealing to Canadians to donate food and make monthly donations if they’re able. 

“If you are in a position to give, please think about your neighbours in need,” said Beardsley. 

Canadians who are in a position to give can make a donation to Food Bank Canada here.

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Harrison Faulkner is producer and journalist for True North based in Toronto.

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