Food Banks Canada for First-Time Releases HungerCount Digital Report for all Access

Canada’s Only Comprehensive Report on Food Bank Usage & Hunger Addresses that “Numbers Remain Unacceptable” in its New Digital Report

Toronto, Feb. 05, 2019 – Food Banks Canada released today its national HungerCount 2018 report digitally; now accessible to all Canadians, year-round, and provides a clear view of who is most affected and where across the nation.

HungerCount 2018 emphasizes that food bank use across Canada remains unacceptably high with 1.1 million visits to food banks in March 2018 alone.

“The fact that 1.1 million Canadians still need to access food banks in one month alone is unacceptable and just not Canadian,” says Chris Hatch, CEO of Food Banks Canada. “People in our most vulnerable communities are struggling to provide for themselves and their families. HungerCount 2018 is our opportunity to take stock of food bank use and hunger and explore opportunities to address these issues.”

What’s New in the 2018 Report?

In addition to Food Banks Canada releasing its first-ever HungerCount Report in digital format that allows for easy access to all Canadians, there is also a focus shift to taking action by donating Funds, Food, Time, and Community Advocacy.

Overall, the groups that continue to remain unacceptably high are children; single adult households; and, Northern Canadians who face the highest rate of food insecurity nationwide.

  • Children Bear the Brunt of Food Insecurity
    • ​The percentage of children using food banks across Canada is unacceptable – 35 percent of those who visit food banks are children under the age of 18, yet make up only 20 percent of Canada’s population overall
    • Single parent households with children are particularly challenged to make ends meet
  • Single Adult Households are being left behind
    • Nearly half of those using food banks are from single, working-age households. This includes singles struggling on social assistance, disability-related supports and working adults
    • Individuals living alone make up 45 percent of all households accessing food banks, but only 28 percent of total households in the country. Rising rents and the lack of a Basic Income are among the contributing factors
  • Food Insecurity in Northern Canada is Extreme
    • People in Northern Canada face extreme levels of food insecurity
    • Due to the extremely high cost of food/housing/utilities coupled with few job prospects and low average incomes

Overall Findings:

  • Poverty is at the core of food bank usage
    • A large number of those accessing food banks are on some form of disability-related support or social assistance
    • The support provided by these programs is insufficient; therefore, many are forced to make impossible choices – for example, food or rent

“At Food Banks Canada, our vision is a Canada where no one goes hungry,” says Hatch. “ We understand the enormity of this task but we strongly believe that we can collectively help drive our country toward that goal with government policies that support vulnerable, Canadian communities and groups.”

Food Banks Canada’s new digital HungerCount Report now facilitates access to all information about Canada’s food bank use. The 2018 initiative enables people with the right steps to be proactive in making positive changes within their communities.

How Canadians Can Make Positive Changes?

Support and advocate for Food Banks Canada policy recommendations:

  • Food Banks Canada recommends federal leadership towards a basic income for all Canadians.
  • In addition to basic income, Food Banks Canada recommends the creation of standardized, affordable early learning childcare across the country.
  • In addition to basic income, Food Banks Canada recommends increased support for single adults living with low incomes.
  • Ongoing support to reduce the food insecurity in the North

If you’re concerned about hunger in Canada, you can take action to help as well. Here’s how:

  • Contact your local food bank to donate funds, food, and time
  • Act as personal advocates for the implementation of our policy recommendations
  • Spread the word in your community and amongst your family and friends in person and on social media

If you require more information or would like to request an interview, please contact, Sylvie Pelletier, Media Relations, 1-877-535-0958, ext. 260.

Food Banks Canada is a national charitable organization dedicated to helping Canadians living with food insecurity. We support a network of Provincial Associations, affiliate food banks, and food agencies that work at the community level to relieve hunger. Our work is focused on three core areas: raising food and funds to share with our network; delivering programs and services to food banks to support their work; and influencing policy through research, awareness raising, and advocacy to find long term solutions to hunger.

Food Banks Canada provides national leadership to relieve hunger today and prevent hunger tomorrow in collaboration with the food bank network in Canada.
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