One in five Canadians are skipping meals to save money due to skyrocketing prices at the grocery store. 

The data was reported in a new survey produced by the Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research (CHASR) at the University of Saskatchewan. 

Researchers found that a majority of people were resorting to coupon-hunting and other methods to cut down on the cost of food.

Another 20% said they were even skipping meals and cutting down on portions to save money. Cutting down on meals was reportedly the most frequent habit among Canadians living in the Prairies with 27.8% reporting that they engaged in the practice. 

“I looked into what might be causing this, and there wasn’t a clear answer. What was clear is that it’s not just a finding in this survey but it’s also in other surveys pretty consistently, that Alberta and Saskatchewan have among the highest food bank use rates,” said CHASR’s survey research manager Jessice McCutcheon.  

“Some people might not admit it, but people having to go to such extremes paints a stark picture.”

The poll follows a concerning report released by Food Banks Canada that found visits by Canadians were at an all time high. 

A total of 1.5 million people visited food banks in March of this year. 

“There has likely never been a more difficult time for food banks in Canada,” read the Food Banks Canada annual report. 

“Across the country, more people are turning to food banks than ever before in our history. Many people are visiting for the first time, making the difficult choice to ask for help because their money simply isn’t stretching far enough to cover their expenses.” 

On Oct. 30, Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre blasted the Liberal government over the latest economic statement. 

“Paycheques don’t go as far as they used to. Canadians are cutting their diets. We recently learned that Canadians visited food banks 1.5 million times in a single month,” wrote Poilievre in a news release where he called for an end to tax hikes and spending by Ottawa.