At a time of surging grocery prices, more Canadians than ever are resorting to food banks in order to have their basic necessities met.
According to the Mississauga Food Bank, 30,000 people are accessing the service this year. Prior to the pandemic the food bank only served 19,000 clients which amounts to a 60% increase.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has announced further support for the organization via a holiday food drive. The drive hopes to raise $1,700,000 for the food bank and 450,000 pounds of food by Jan. 6.
“Many of our City’s residents continue to struggle to put food on their table, and that need becomes acutely felt during the holiday season. Your gift will help ensure that those who are struggling with inflation and food insecurity will be able to enjoy a family meal this holiday season,” said Crombie in a press release.
“For nearly a decade, Mississaugans have come together to support our community and neighbours in need through my annual food drives, helping to raise over $2.5 million and over 1.9 million pounds of food. This year, more than ever, I am asking for your support and generosity as our community continues to grapple with the impact of the pandemic.”
According to Crombie, 45% of food bank users reported having to skip at least one meal every single month to make ends meet.
“This should not be accepted as the norm for anybody in our community. As we come together with our loved ones, we reflect on how fortunate we are to gather around a table full of food, and how we must also help those who are struggling to do so this holiday season,” said Crombie.
According to a recent national report by Food Banks Canada, 15% more Canadians across the country have visited a food bank compared to 2021. A total of 1.5 million visits took place this year across 4,750 different food banks.
“There has likely never been a more difficult time for food banks in Canada. 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,” said Food Banks Canada CEO Kirstin Beardsley and Board Chair John Bayliss.