A new report by Food Banks Canada shows another record-breaking number of food bank visits.
The numbers show a 12.4 per cent increase in food bank visits in Newfoundland and Labrador over the past year, and an overall 44 per cent increase since 2019.
In March of 2023, there were 1.9 million visits to food banks in Canada, a 32 per cent increase from last year’s recording-breaking total. It also represented the highest year-over-year increase, with the number of visits increasing by 78.5 per cent since March 2019.
The biggest factors leading to the increase were food costs, housing costs, and low wages or not enough hours of work, coinciding with the highest rates of inflation in 40 years.
As for who is using food banks, one third are children and 12 per cent are Indigenous, despite only representing five per cent of the general population. Racialized groups make up 39.3 per cent of clients, while 26.6 are newcomers to the country.
The most common income source was provincial social assistance at 42.4 per cent, while the number of employed people using food banks was at its highest rate ever at 17 per cent.